Association says it will be more effective than existing ones

The Centre must implement the rule that specifies a new graphic pictorial warning on all tobacco products at the earliest to highlight the hazards of tobacco use, according to Tamil Nadu Voluntary Health Association.

Addressing reporters here on Tuesday, the association's executive director J.P. Saulina Arnold said the government had deferred the implementation of the new pictorial warning on tobacco products from June 1 to December 1 in view of representations from the tobacco industry.

The image of mouth cancer was chosen for the new pictorial warning as it would be more effective than the existing ones showing diseased lungs. About 20 per cent of cancer affecting women was due to tobacco consumption or passive smoking, she said.

C.S. Mani, surgical oncologist and founder member of Cancer Research and Relief Trust, said the pictorial warning was targeted at youngsters who are on the brink of getting addicted to smoking. It would help in discouraging 50 per cent of the vulnerable group from taking up the habit.

The pictorial warning messages must also be replaced every year. This is being implemented in other countries, including Belgium, Australia and Chile, the association members said.