New Health Warnings on Tobacco Products

Tobacco utilization is a significant general wellbeing concern and a test in India since 33% of grown-ups are dependent on tobacco utilization in its various structures. Tobacco use is intensely well established as social and, surprisingly, conventional practice in our general public. Despite the fact that there are numerous regulations limiting tobacco utilization in India, tobacco utilization is proceeding to increment. In India, one in four adults, that is 25% of our population use tobacco in some form in urban areas and it is two in five or 38% for the rural population. In India, small scale industries manufacture many of the tobacco products such as bidi, gutkha, etc. in the unorganised sector.

New Health Warning on Tobacco

The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has notified new sets of specified health warnings for all tobacco product packages by making an amendment in the Cigarettes and other Tobacco Products (Packaging and Labelling) Rules, 2008, dated July 21, 2022. The amended rules will be applicable from December 1 of this year.[1]

As per an article published with Business Today, the Indian government stated that “The new set of specified health warnings shall be for a period of twelve months following its commencement. It added that all tobacco products manufactured or imported or packaged on or after December 1, 2022 shall display a new image with the textual health warning ‘Tobacco causes painful death’.”

“Also, those manufactured or imported or packaged on or after December 1, 2023 shall read with the textual health warning ‘Tobacco users die younger.’ the Ministry said.

Any person engaged directly or indirectly in the manufacture, production, supply, import or distribution of cigarettes or any tobacco products shall ensure that all tobacco product packages shall have the specified health warnings exactly as prescribed.

The new set of guidelines will be valid for a period of 12 months following its commencement from 01st December 2022 and they will come into effect following the end of 12 months from the date of commencement of specified health warning.

About the New Health Warning:

• The standard connected with the new showcase picture on tobacco packs will be set up for time of one year, beginning from December 1, 2022.

• From December 1, 2023, one more showcase picture will be utilized with advance notice composed as “tobacco clients kick the bucket more youthful”.

• Service has made new alterations to Cigarettes and other Tobacco Products (Packaging and Labelling) Rules, 2008. These corrections were informed on July 21, 2022.

• Individual participated in make, creation, import, supply, or appropriation of any tobacco items, straightforwardly or in a roundabout way, have been commanded to guarantee that all tobacco item bundles have determined wellbeing alerts.

Infringement of the new wellbeing rules will draw in detainment or fine as per Section 20 of the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce, Production, Supply and Distribution) Act, 2003.[2]

Tobacco Use in India

As per Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS) 2016-2017, prevalence of tobacco smoking is lowest in Maharashtra, among states in India. More than, 91% of smokers in India believe that smoking results serious illness. In India, 10.7% of the adult’s smoke tobacco while, 28.6% adults use tobacco either in smoke or smokeless form.  According to Tobacco Free Union, tobacco-related diseases in India is responsible for death of more than 1 million people every year.[3]

Use of tobacco and its harmful causes

Tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable disease, disability, and death. Every day in the United States, about 1,600 young people under age 18 try their first cigarette, and nearly 200 end up smoking cigarettes daily. The numbers in India don’t differ much. Most people when asked about how they started smoking said they did so to socialise among peers and then got addicted.

Some groups of people have a higher percentage of tobacco use, second-hand smoke exposure, and related health problems, as well as less access to treatment to help them quit. These disparities can be based on where people live, the kind of job they have, whether they have health insurance, and factors like race, ethnicity, age, or sexual orientation.

Over 16 million people live with at least one disease caused by smoking.

 To reduce tobacco-related diseases and deaths, we need to take some measures.

  • Prevent young people from using tobacco products.
  • Ensure people successfully quit using tobacco products.
  • Limit exposure to second-hand smoke.
  • Advance health equity by identifying and eliminating tobacco-related disparities.

Harmful Effects of Tobacco Use

Cigarette smoking prompts sickness and handicap and damages practically every organ of the body. Smoking causes malignant growth, coronary illness, stroke, lung sicknesses, type 2 diabetes, and other constant ailments. The effect likewise stretches out past the individual who smokes. For instance, smoking during pregnancy builds the gamble of untimely birth (being conceived too soon) and abrupt baby passing condition.[4]

Recycled smoke, which influences 58 million populace who don’t smoke, likewise causes stroke, cellular breakdown in the lungs, and coronary illness in grown-ups. Kids who are presented to recycled smoke are at expanded hazard of SIDS, disabled lung capability, intense respiratory contaminations, centre ear illness, and more regular and serious asthma assaults.

Cancer

Cigarette smoking causes several forms of cancer, including about 80% to 90% of lung cancer deaths. People who don’t smoke can also develop lung cancer, and those who are exposed to second-hand smoke at home or work have a 20% to 30% higher risk of getting lung cancer than those not exposed.

Heart Disease and Stroke

Cigarette smoking is a major cause of heart disease and stroke and causes 1 in every 4 deaths from heart disease and stroke.

Lung Disease

Cigarette smoking can cause lung disease by damaging the airways and the small air sacs (alveoli) found in the lungs. It can cause chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which includes emphysema and chronic bronchitis. Smoking accounts for as many as 8 in 10 COPD-related deaths. If you have asthma, tobacco smoke can trigger an asthma attack or make an attack worse.

Diabetes

The gamble of creating type 2 diabetes is 30% to 40% higher for individuals who presently smoke than for individuals who don’t. The more cigarettes an individual smokes, the higher their gamble of type 2 diabetes. Individuals with diabetes who smoke are more probable than individuals who don’t smoke to experience difficulty dealing with their glucose and to have serious inconveniences, including:

• Coronary illness and kidney sickness.

• Unfortunate blood stream in the legs and feet that can prompt diseases, ulcers, and removal (medical procedure to eliminate a body part, like toes or feet).

• Retinopathy (an eye sickness that can cause visual impairment).

• Fringe neuropathy (nerve harm in the arms and legs that causes deadness, torment, shortcoming, and unfortunate coordination).

Legislations on tobacco

The Tobacco Products Bill, 2001

This bill recommended that the Central Government should control the tobacco industry, and that parliament should legislate on other tobacco products but not cigarettes. The bill’s recommendation paved a way for the government to enact the COTPA in 2003.

The Cigarettes and other tobacco products (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce Production, Supply and Distribution) Act, 2003 [5]

This is the currently prevalent tobacco control law in India. The provisions under this Act are:

  • Smoking in public places is banned.
  • A Total ban on advertisements of tobacco products.
  • Ban of sale of tobacco products to minors below 18 years of age.
  • The packaging of all tobacco products has to compulsorily show pictorial health warnings on smoking.
  • Tobacco product cannot be sold within 100 yards of any educational institution.
  • The Act makes it mandatory to test for the tar and nicotine content of any tobacco product.
  • The law was enacted but the ordeal to implement them was another thing as the tobacco industry came together to dispute most of these rules in the court of law.
  • With many legal battles, the revised smoke-free laws came into effect on Gandhi’s birthday in 2008.

The Cigarettes and other Tobacco Products (Packaging and Labelling) Rules, 2008, dated July 21, 2022 amended.

Paragraph 1 which specifies “Components of specified health warning” the following has been substituted for clause namely:

For smoking and smokeless forms of tobacco products, the words “TOBACCO CAUSES PAINFUL DEATH‟ in Image-1 and the words “TOBACCO USERS DIE YOUNGER‟ in Image-2 shall appear in white font colour on a red background. The words “QUIT TODAY CALL 1800-11-2356‟ shall appear in white font colour on a black background. The intensity of colour in the background of the textual health warning shall be: White, Red and Black. The textual health warnings shall be printed with four colours with printing resolution of minimum 300 DPI (Dots per inch).[6]

CONCLUSION Although India has a very comprehensive policy for tobacco use, these regulations will add on to the government’s aim to control the consumption of tobacco amongst the youth, as they are the foundation of our nation’s future. The prevalence of tobacco among the school children is becoming a serious problem in developing countries, and impacts the growth of a country like India, where 65% of the population is youth. If the youth of this country is getting addicted to slow killing poisons, it not only affects the health of an individual but also the health of their family and the health of the nation. This young nation has to realise these things well in advance.


[1] The Mint, HT Media, Tobacco packs to carry new health warnings from Dec 1, available at  https://www.livemint.com/news/india/tobacco-packs-to-carry-new-health-warnings-from-dec-1-see-display-image-11659075957656.html (Updated: 29 Jul 2022).

[2] Bindu Shajan Perappadan, The Hindu, New health warning on tobacco product packages from December 1, available at https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/new-health-warning-on-tobacco-product-packages-from-december-1/article65697339.ece (Updated: July 29, 2022).

[3] Viji, Vikaspedia, New Specified Health Warning on Tobacco Products packs, available at https://vikaspedia.in/health/health-campaigns/no-tobacco/new-specified-health-warning-on-tobacco-products-packs (Updated: April 29, 2022).

[4] Ashutosh Singh, IPleaders, Policies for tobacco control in India, availbale at https://blog.ipleaders.in/policies-tobacco-control-india/#Hazardous_effects_of_tobacco (Published: December 27, 2020).

[5] Ashutosh Singh, IPleaders, Policies for tobacco control in India, available at https://blog.ipleaders.in/policies-tobacco-control-india/#Hazardous_effects_of_tobacco (Posted: December 27, 2020).

[6] TeamLease RegTech Legal Research Team, Cigarettes and other Tobacco Products (Packaging and Labelling) Amendment Rules, 2022, available at https://www.teamleaseregtech.com/updates/article/18283/cigarettes-and-other-tobacco-products-packaging-and-labelling-amendmen/#:~:text=The%20Ministry%20of%20Health%20and%20Family%20Welfare%20%28MoHFW%29,has%20come%20into%20effect%20from%20December%201%2C%202022 (Published: July 22, 2022).


Author: Shivani Singh


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