New Tobacco Warnings in India More Frightful

Published on March 18th, 2010 11:23

Cigarette packets with pictorial warnings about the dangers of smoking have hit the market almost a year ago. But the warnings were mild not so scaring.

After almost a year of mild warnings, the Indian government has decided to move to more vigorous messages and pictures on cigarettes packs. It declared that tobacco products will carry grisly pictures of mouth cancer, showing rotting teeth and lips.

The new warnings will come into force from June 1st. These new designs of cigarettes packs would be enforced under the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Rules, 2010.

tobacco warning

For example the warnings show a picture of mouth cancer with a title “Tobacco Causes Lung Cancer”. The packs will bear the same real picture with another title “Smoking Kills”, while chewing or smokeless products will carry the title “Tobacco Kills”.

“The new warnings are of course a new amelioration over the previous ones. The old warnings, which displayed an X-ray of a lung or a diseased lung or a scorpion, were not effective,” said Dr. K. Srinath Reddy of the Public Health Foundation of India.

But an investigation in developed countries has found that portraying the health effect of tobacco in the form of pictures was more effective. For example the new warnings were field-tested in Orissa, Bihar, Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim, Madhya Pradesh, Kerala and Andhra Pradesh by VHAI. In Maharashtra, these pictorial pictures were tested by the Healis-Sekhsaria Institute for Public Health.

Anti-tobacco researchers used 11 images and the answer was requested from 735 people, including smokers, especially women and children. At the end of investigation found that ninety-eight percent of people said the pictures of mouth cancer would make tobacco-users to quit smoking easier. “They said they will not send their children to buy cigarettes for them if these grisly pictures will be put on tobacco products,” Bhavna Mukhopadhya of the VHAI said.

As it is know the mild pictorial warnings were enforced on May 31st last year after the intervention of the Supreme Court. But the proposal was to print pictorial warnings in the form of imagines of skull and of course bones, and surely pictures from reality of patients with cancer, dead bodies, and a child dying because of the bad effects of smoking. However, the pictorial warnings that came into effect last year were milder.

That’s why this year the government from India decided to enforce this rule more strictly.

Even health researchers said that the government should also focus on the enforcing of new warnings as Tobacco Companies violated the previous rules.

By Joanna Johnson, Staff Writer. Copyright © 2010 All rights reserved.

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