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Grim pics on packs from Sunday

delhi Updated: May 29, 2009 23:09 IST

Grim images of diseased lungs will appear on cigarette, bidi and gutka packets from Sunday, May 31.

Irrespective of size, packs of all tobacco products will have to carry the pictorial warnings with the mandatory message.

Pictorial rules
Should occupy at least 40 p.c. of the principal display area/s of the front panel of the pack
Be positioned parallel to the top edge of the package
Be in the same direction as the information on the principal display area
Have no messages that directly or indirectly promotes a brand or tobacco use can be inscribed on the package
No pack to be sold unless the package contains the specified health warning. The specified warnings can be printed, pasted or affixed.
Be in the language used on the pack. In case of more than one languages, the warnings should appear in two languages, one in which the brand name appears and the other in any one of the languages that appears on the product packs.

Every pack will have the pictures of damaged lungs with the messages Smoking Kills: smoking causes cancer; and a picture of a scorpion saying Tobacco kills: Tobacco causes cancer.

The new packs, however, are expected to take six to eight weeks to reach the market as the shelf life of the existing stock is up to two months.

The Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Rules makes depiction of pictorial health warnings on all tobacco products’ packs mandatory from May 31.

“Everything that comes from a tobacco-manufacturing unit — making cigarettes, bidis and/or chewing tobacco — and is passed by the Excise department will need to carry the labels and conform to the new rules,” said Union Health Secretary Naresh Dayal.