Parliament panel wants tobacco warning on packs cut to 50
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As the Health Ministry deadline of April 1 for increasing pictorial warnings to 85 per cent of cigarette packs nears, a Parliamentary panel has pitched for reducing the warning size to 50 per cent from the existing 40 per cent, inviting the ire of health experts as well as the industry.
Reacting to the report of the Committee on Subordinate Legislations Newport Cigarettes, which was tabled in the Lok Sabha on Tuesday Wholesale Cigarettes, the tobacco industry said 50 per cent is MPs and health experts, on the other hand, hoped the Ministry would stick to 85 per cent.
Dilip Gandhi, chairman of the panel, justified the recommendations, saying: order to have a balanced approach, the warning on cigarette packets should be 50 per cent on both sides of the principal display area instead of 85 per cent. Otherwise, there will be a flooding of illicit cigarettes in the country, he added.
The panel also dismissed issues related to of interest rising from the presence of beedi baron Shyama Charan Gupta in the panel Newport Cigarettes, saying he was not present in any of the meetings on tobacco.
Biju Janata Dal Jay Panda said he was as one million Indians died every year from smoking beedis most of them poor people who could not afford costly treatment.
K Srinath Reddy, President, Public Health Foundation of India, expressed hope that the Centre will stand by its decision of going ahead with 85 per cent warning. Related articles: Newport Cigarettes Shirt