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Tobacco warnings: Health secretary writes to ministries

Published : Apr 6, 2016, 9:23 am IST
Updated : Apr 6, 2016, 9:23 am IST

Upping the ante against tobacco manufacturers, the Union heath secretary has written to secretaries of all key ministries and departments urging their “support” and “involvement” so that new health wa

Upping the ante against tobacco manufacturers, the Union heath secretary has written to secretaries of all key ministries and departments urging their “support” and “involvement” so that new health warnings — covering 85% of the principal display of tobacco products which are produced, supplied and distributed in India — can be implemented. Tobacco companies have shut their production in protest against new pictorial warnings which were supposed to come into effect from April 1.

However, to ensure effective implementation of the warnings on cigarettes, health secretary B.P. Sharma has written to secretaries of various ministries and departments like revenue, commerce, external affairs and labour. Citing that the new warnings will bring greater “awareness” about the health consequences of tobacco use, the health secretary has urged for concerted efforts of all concerned ministries.

Ensuring that all packs which leave the factory from April 1 bear new health warnings, the health secretary has written to the secretary, revenue, to inform them of the field formations of customs and excise and necessary instructions be issued to them.

Since the new rules also apply to imported cigarettes and tobacco products, he has asked the civil aviation secretary that the rules be brought to the notice of all missions abroad, including trade associations and federations of other countries so that trade assignments designed for India are compliant with rules.

The secretary has also asked all airlines, shipping lines, freight forwarders and consolidators to be sensitised so that “they also check that tobacco consignments designed for India comply with the law. The sales effected through the duty free shops within India would also need be sensitised.”

Location: India, Delhi, New Delhi