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Golden Tobacco first to implement 85% pictorial health warnings

: Health activists have welcomed the move by Golden Tobacco Company, among the oldest companies in the business of manufacturing tobacco items in India, to implement 85 per cent pictorial health warnings on both sides of their products.

Brands Panama and Golden Gold Flake are associated with the company.

The Union Health Ministry has written to all key government departments – Revenue, Commerce, External Affairs, Labour, Civil Aviation, and Tourism— to ensure that health warnings covering 85 per cent of the principal display on both sides of packages apply to all tobacco brands in India. The Ministry has also written to all Chief Secretaries of States/UTs to adhere to the policy.

“Golden Tobacco Company has shown that there are no issues in implementing the new health warnings. The arguments given by other tobacco companies are baseless,’’ said Binoy Mathew, senior programme officer at Voluntary Health Association of India.

He added that it if one company could comply with the rules, even others could.

“There is no evidence to suggest that introduction of large warnings ever had any adverse effect on the livelihood of people, while there is ample evidence to prove that millions of people in India face economic and health hardships because of their present engagement in tobacco farming, manufacturing of tobacco products, and related work,’’ read a statement released by the Voluntary Health Association of India.

Since tobacco is an addictive product, there cannot be any immediate impact, it added. Therefore, the introduction of larger pictorial health warnings is not likely to have an impact on the livelihood of farmers and other stakeholders.

Tobacco use is a leading cause of tuberculosis-related mortality in India. Pictorial warnings on packages create awareness about health consequences of tobacco usage, especially among youth, children, illiterate, semi-illiterate and the uninitiated, who are either the primary users of tobacco or who may be vulnerable to using tobacco products.

Tobacco use is a leading cause of tuberculosis-related mortality in India and pictorial warnings on packages can create awareness

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Printable version | Jan 17, 2022 12:36:35 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/golden-tobacco-first-to-implement-85-pictorial-health-warnings/article8468357.ece

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