Anti-tobacco activists have welcomed the government’s move to devote 85% space on tobacco product packets to warn people about the ill-effects of consuming tobacco. In a press communication, Vasanthkumar Mysoremath, the Chairman of Anti-Tobacco Forum has said that the move will deter people from latching on to the deadly habit.
The Ministry of Health has announced that from April 2016, gory pictures and awareness messages on effects of using tobacco would be brought into force and most of the space on tobacco products packaging will be used to convey this message.
“This is a welcome step in the right direction for fulfilling India’s international obligation under UN/WHO sponsored FCTC protocol for containing consumption of tobacco products.” – Vasanthkumar Mysoremath, Chairman, Anti-Tobacco Forum, Mysuru
According to findings, in other countries where gory pictures and awareness messages have been exhibited in majority of the space of tobacco packets, it appears it had salutary psychological effect on the minds of the smokers and there is a gradual reduction in consumption of tobacco products.
The activists have suggested that as a corollary, the Government of India must exercise its right to gradually reduce crop size, area under tobacco cultivation and effect an embargo on renewals in addition to increasing the renewal license fee.
The government must also withdraw the recent Tobacco Board’s guidelines permitting procurement of excess/illegally grown tobacco by license/unlicensed farmers, albeit with some nominal fines. These guidelines are a clear violation of the FCTC norms prescribed by UN/WHO for combating the tobacco problem, Vasanthkumar Mysoremath stated.