The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India has notified new sets of specified health warnings for all tobacco product packs by making an amendment in the Cigarettes and other Tobacco Products (Packaging and Labeling) Rules, 2008 vide GSR 331(E) dated 3rd April 2018 “Cigarettes and other Tobacco Products (Packaging and Labeling) Second Amendment Rules, 2018”. The amended Rules will be applicable w.e.f. 1st September 2018.
According to the new set of specified health warnings two images have been made available by the MoHFW. Image-1, which shall be valid for a period of twelve months following its commencement. Image-2,which shall come into effect following the end of twelve months from the date of commencement of specified health warning of Image-1.
One of the most important key features of the new set of specified health warnings will include telephone Quit-line number “QUIT TODAY CALL 1800-11-2356”. This will help in creating awareness among tobacco users, and give them access to counseling services to effect behavior change. It is also likely to lead to an increase in demand for tobacco cessation. Further, now the same set of warning images shall be on both smoking and smokeless forms of tobacco products.
The toll free Tobacco Quit-line Services [1800-11-2356] provides counseling and strategies for quitting tobacco use. As per the recent second round of Global Adult Tobacco Survey [GATS -2, 2016-17] conducted in the age group 15 years and above, 61.9% of current cigarette smokers, 53.8% of current bidi smokers and 46.2% of current smokeless tobacco users thought about quitting because of warning label on packets of cigarette, bidi and smokeless tobacco.
The said notification along with printable version of warnings is available on the Ministry’s website. Printable versions of the new warnings in all regional languages shall also soon be made available on Ministry’s website. In view of the above, it is informed that before the new set of specified health warning come into force from 1st September, 2018, the existing specified health warnings on tobacco product packs shall be continued till 31st August, 2018, as per amendment made in the Cigarettes and other Tobacco Products (Packaging and Labeling) Rules, 2008 vide GSR 283 (E) dated 26th March 2018.