Union Health and Family Welfare Ministry has issued new pictorial warning for cigarette and tobacco packs which will be effective from June 1, 2010.

The new picture, notified on March 5, shows a cancerous mouth and the warning reads ``Tobacco causes mouth cancer’’ replacing the earlier pictures of a scorpion and lungs. The scorpion was meant for gutka or chewing tobacco packs while cigarette packs were to carry the picture of diseased lungs.

Now, the mouth cancer and warning will be common for both gutka and cigarette packs. The pictorial warning sign will cover 40 per cent of the pack, as earlier.

The pictorial warnings were made compulsory from May 31, 2009 under the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products (Packaging and Labelling) Rules, 2008 following a Supreme Court directive. As per the Rules, the pictograms are to be reviewed and changed every year for better effectiveness.

The Voluntary Health Association of India (VHAI) claims to have field tested the new pack warnings given by the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (MoHFW) in seven States namely Orissa, Bihar, Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim, Madhya Pradesh, Kerala and Andhra Pradesh.

The warning which has been notified was found to be the most effective in all the seven States unlike the earlier ones which were not very effective, VHAI statement said on Wednesday.