Indian cigarette and gutka packs to carry a cancerous mouth warning

March 12, 2010

The Union Health and Family Welfare Ministry has issued a new pictorial warning for cigarette and tobacco packs. It will come into effect from June 1.

The new picture, notified on March 5, shows a cancerous mouth. The warning reads: “Tobacco causes mouth cancer.”

It replaces the earlier pictures of a scorpion and lungs. The scorpion sign was meant for gutka or chewing tobacco packs, while cigarette packs were to carry diseased lungs.

Now, the mouth cancer warning will be common for both gutka and cigarette packs. The pictorial sign will cover 40 per cent of the pack, as before.

The pictorial warnings were made compulsory from May 31, 2009 under the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products (Packaging and Labelling) Rules, 2008, following a Supreme Court directive.

As per the rules, the pictograms are to be reviewed and changed every year for better effectiveness.

The Voluntary Health Association of India (VHAI), which claims to have field-tested the newly notified warning in Orissa, Bihar, Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim, Madhya Pradesh, Kerala and Andhra Pradesh, says it has been most effective in all these States. The earlier ones were not very effective, the VHAI said in a statement on Wednesday.


Source: The Hindu (March 11, 2010)