Harmful effects of passive smoking would be the focus of the two new pictorial warnings to be launched by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Tuesday.
These would become effective from October 2 that marks the completion of five years of implementation of smoke-free laws in India. The two spots, ‘child’ and ‘dhuan’ (smoke) — which have to be used on cigarette packs — are aimed to reinforce the government’s emphasis on passive smoking.
‘Child’ and ‘dhuan’
‘Child’ and ‘dhuan’ have been developed by the World Lung Foundation to warn about the health costs of smoking and second-hand smoke, and of the penalties to be faced for violating the smoke-free law. ‘Child’ focuses on the health risks of smoking and passive smoke, while ‘dhuan’ models the behaviour expected of business managers, advocates, enforcement officials, smokers and non-smokers.
As per the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce, Production, Supply and Distribution) Act (COTPA) Rules, the anti-tobacco health spots and disclaimers are being provided by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
Last year, two spots ‘Mukesh’ and ‘sponge’, depicting harmful effect of usage of smokeless and smoking forms of tobacco, were used. These would be replaced with the ‘child’ and ‘dhuan’ spots. These spots have been dubbed in 16 Indian languages for a pan India coverage.
Tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable diseases and death in the world today. Nearly 8-9 lakh people die every year due to diseases related to tobacco use in India with 5,500 youth taking to tobacco use every day. About 50 per cent of all cancers in males and 25 per cent of cancers in females can be attributed to tobacco use. About 90 per cent of all oral cancers are believed to be caused due to consumption of smokeless tobacco.
Tobacco also affects non-smokers who are exposed to second-hand smoke as well as workers involved in cultivation and processing of tobacco products.
India enacted the COTPA in 2003 to regulate consumption, production, supply and distribution of tobacco products, by imposing restrictions on advertisement, promotion and sponsorship of tobacco products; prohibiting smoking in public places; prohibiting sale to and by minors, prohibiting sale within a radius of 100 yards of educational institutions and through mandatory depiction of specified pictorial health warnings on all tobacco product packs.