Stricter pictorial warning for tobacco products
New Delhi: Government has notified new, stricter pictorial warnings for smoking and smokeless forms of tobacco with April 1 next year as the deadline for their implementation.
A set of three pictorial warnings each for both smoking and smokeless forms of tobacco to be displayed on tobacco product packages have been notified by the Health Ministry.
These picture images will replace the currently used images including the controversial image of English footballer John Terry, whose managers had threatened the Ministry with legal action in case the image remained in circulation.
The newly approved warnings are designed to be much more effective than the previous ones and focus in detail the portion of the human body affected by tobacco use.
The Health Ministry has for the first time inserted the word `Warning` in the new pictorial warnings and mandated that this word be printed in red alongwith the messages - `Smoking kills` and `Tobacco kills`.
"For the first time we have fixed the ratio between the length and breadth of the pictorial warnings and the pictorial warning cannot be made to mingle with the borders of product," a top Health Ministry official said.
"The provision of maintaining a ratio (075:1) between the vertical length and horizontal length of the health warning so as to ensure that pictures are not distorted with change in size of packs," the notification said.
The official said this means the pictorial warning images cannot be tweaked or altered according to the whims and convenience of tobacco industry, as they would do so earlier by routinely changing the dimensions of the image and render the warnings ineffective.
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