India: Cautionary labels on tobacco to become more graphical

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New Delhi, May 29: Cautionary labels on tobacco products in India are to become more graphical, according to a notification issued on Friday, May 27.

The images of human lung on cigarette packets and scorpion on products like bidis and gutkha, will be changed by replacing it with the images of man and a woman suffering with mouth cancer and a man affected by cancer from Dec 1.

The notice came after Ghulam Nabi Azad, announced on Wednesday, May 25, that the ministry would follow strict warning for chewable tobacco products.

Four pictures for smoking and smokeless tobacco products have been approved. Any of the four pictures can be printed by the cigarette and bidi manufacturers for smoking tobacco, while any of the four pictures for smokeless tobacco products can be used by manufacturers producing chewing tobacco products.

The new warnings are issued under the Cigarettes and other Tobacco Products Act, 2003.

"It is the right step to take. But there should not be any discrimination between smoking and smokeless products as both cause cancer," said Bhavna Mukhopadhyya, executive director of the Voluntary Health Association of India.

Health experts and anti-tobacco activists have been upset over the cautionary warning on tobacco products since May 31, 2009, adding that they do not prevent tobacco users from using tobacco products.

OneIndia News

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