Tobacco products will now come with graphic warnings…really graphic!
If you smoke or consume tobacco in any form, be ready to get shocked every time you open a new cigarette packet or tobacco pouch – India’s Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare has, in a notification, made it mandatory to use graphic warnings on all tobacco products packages. According to press release, these warning will come to effect from 1st December 2011.
History of Tobacco warnings
Over past decade, health ministry has been bringing about changes to ensure that general public are aware of how tobacco severely affects human health. Just to give you an example – More than a decade back, cigarette packets came with sober warnings (that too in small letterings) like – “Smoking is injurious to your health”, something like the one shown below
In last few years, this gave way to more bold and direct warnings, which got mentioned in large letters – “Smoking Kills”
These are the kind of warnings that come on all cigarette packers as well all smokeless tobacco pouches. These too be honest are quite strong – But, it looks like introduction of even such strong warnings also have not deterred tobacco users.
Highlights of existing Tobacco users in India
As per the recent Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS) India Report, here are some of the highlights of tobacco users in India.
- Current tobacco use in any form: 34.6% of adults; 47.9% of males and 20.3% of females
- Current tobacco smokers: 14.0% of adults: 24.3% of males and 2.9% of females
- Current cigarette smokers: 5.7% of adults: 10.3% of males and 0.8% of females.
- Current bidi smokers: 9.2% of adults: 16.0% of males and 1.9% of females.
- Current users of smokeless tobacco: 25.9% of adults: 32.9% of males and 18.4% of females.
These are startling figures – One Indian in every 3 either smokes or consumes tobacco in some or the other form !
New (Very) Graphic Warnings on Tobacco Packets
The new notification which was released by Health Ministry on 27th May, provides some very graphic warnings, and I am sure these will have positive effects on the tobacco users:
Note: Below image is the most sober image of all, the other images are so graphic, that I decided against publishing them – If you are keen to see them, you can click on the link given below
Extremely Graphic Warnings which will come to effect in Dec. 2011
Now, what I want to ask readers is – Will these warnings have the desired effect and dissuade tobacco users from using them? And, also it will be interesting to see how, tobacco companies will react to this particular notification !