NEW DELHI: The implementation of bigger pictorial warnings on tobacco packaging has been delayed by India by a year until April 2016.
New Delhi, after the Rajasthan High Court asked the Central Government to enforce the new rules immediately, was mounted with pressure to take intense steps to reduce tobacco consumption, which kills around 900,000 people a year.
Last year, India said that the tobacco packaging should be85% covered with health warnings and the rules were to be enforced from April this year. However, this decision has been delayed on the grounds given by parliamentary panel to first review the impact it is going to have on the industry.
Anti-tobacco campaigners have given the reason being, behind this delay, a member of the committee owning a tobacco company.
An official of the Health Ministry said, “Court order implementation is not feasible considering there are existing stocks in the market with old warnings.”
According to the Canadian Cancer Society, India ranks 136th out of 198 countries that use health warnings to keep in check on the smokers.