Outrage against delay in pictorial warnings on tobacco products in India
In a detractive decision of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW), Government of India (GOI), the implementation of new pictorial health warnings has been deferred to December 1, 2010 from the earlier commitment of introducing them from June 1, 2010. In March 2010, civil society organizations had joined hands to applaud the government’s efforts in notifying effective pictorial warning of cancer-stricken mouth on packs of both smoking and smokeless tobacco. However, this delay in implementation of new pictorial warnings by the GOI is worrying civil society organizations, as in the past, this oscillating stand of the Government had led to further weakening and dilutions of warnings. Read more
Fifty-two organizations under the umbrella of the Advocacy Forum for Tobacco Control (AFTC) met in Mumbai from June 23-25 and deliberated on the delay in enforcement of pictorial health warnings on tobacco products. AFTC is a coalition of 63 pan Indian organizations working in the area of advocacy, awareness, promotion and research related to tobacco control in India. Its main goal is to advance policies for control of tobacco, which is a major public health threat that claims close to 1 million victims annually in India.
“In India the pictorial warnings that got implemented from 31 May 2009 were mild, weak and not field tested,” said Professor (Dr) Rama Kant, Executive Director of Tobacco Cessation Clinic (TCC) at the Chhatrapati Shahuji Maharaj Medical University (CSMMU), and a World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General’s