ITC, Godfrey Phillips and VST Industries, India’s biggest cigarette makers are going to stop manufacturing cigarette from Friday. This step has been taken due to ambiguity on the graphic health warning on the packs of tobacco products.
A news release from Tobacco Institute of India (TII) revealed that this shutter down is going to cost them Rs 350 crore per day in turnover. TII represents the companies which record more than 98 per cent of domestic sales of duty paid cigarettes.
As per the Government notification, cigarette packs must carry around 85 per cent graphic warning. A parliamentary committee, however, had last month recommended a 50 per cent pictorial warning which will be printed on both sides of the cigarette pack. Till now cigarette packs are carrying 40 per cent of the warning in front of the pack.
“The Indian tobacco industry has written to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on 15th March, 2016, seeking clarification on the matter,” Director, Tobacco Institute of India Syed Mahmood Ahmad was quoted by The Economic Times as saying. Ministry has not responded as yet.
Tobacco control policies are directed by the NGOs and anti-tobacco activists who are been financed by US based organisation. Though till date the US has not put any pictorial warning on the packs sold over there.