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85% pictorial warning on tobacco products from today

Tobacco products will henceforth carry larger pictorial warnings, covering 85 per cent of the packaging space, as a Central notification comes into effect on Friday notwithstanding a parliamentary panel’s recommendation for a drastic reduction in the size of the visual message.

The Health Ministry’s notification of September 24, 2015, for the implementation of the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products (Packaging and Labelling) Amendment Rules, 2014, come into force April 1. These prescribe larger pictorial warnings on tobacco products.

The ministry had made a commitment to the Rajasthan high court on March 28 that it will implement the said rules from April 1, 2016.

The Parliamentary Committee on Subordinate Legislation had described as "too harsh" the government’s proposal that 85 per cent of the packaging surface carry pictorial warnings and recommended that the message occupy 50 per cent of the space.
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