India not enforcing pictorial warnings on cigarette packs: report

Updated - November 16, 2021 07:12 pm IST

Published - October 14, 2014 08:00 pm IST - NEW DELHI:

India has slipped to 136th position in the list of 198 countries that warn smokers about the hazards of smoking through graphic pictures on cigarette packages.

By not enforcing pictorial warnings on both sides of a cigarette pack as is mandated by the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control India ranks last among other SAARC nations that have graphic health warnings.

A new report ‘The Cigarette Package Health Warnings: International Status Report 2014’ released in Moscow at the sixth session of the Conference of the Parties to the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) says though India was one of the first countries to ratify the FCTC, it has not complied with the minimum rules.

“While many countries mandate images on both sides [all principal display areas] of tobacco packages, India is one of the few countries requiring graphic warning labels to be placed ONLY on one side of tobacco packages, covering only 20 per cent of the entire package. There is strong evidence to suggest that tobacco users are less likely to notice the image if they are only on one side,” the report says.

It ranks 198 countries on the size of their health warnings on cigarette packages, lists countries and territories that require picture warnings, and documents the global momentum towards implementation of plain packaging. India stood at 123rd position in the list that was issued in 2012.

As per the 2014 report, the three top countries based on their average front and back size of pack warnings are Thailand (85%), Australia (82.5%) and Uruguay (80%).

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