Special Correspondent

BANGALORE: Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare Anbumani Ramadoss said on Saturday that the Centre on Friday issued a notification making it mandatory for using pictorial warnings on cigarettes, beedis and other tobacco products.

Dr. Ramadoss told presspersons here on the sidelines of the 14th convocation of the National Board of Examination that a three-month deadline would be given to the tobacco products manufacturing companies to comply with the order. Stringent action would be taken against those who failed to use pictorial warnings, he said.

A Group of Ministers (GoM) on February 26 had recommended using pictorial warnings on cigarette, beedi and tobacco product packs, but it had not set any time-frame for its implementation.

Chaired by External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee, the GoM decided to tone down the nature of pictures and reduce the size of warnings from 50 to 30 or 40 per cent of the pack size.