HindustanTimes Mon,29 Dec 2014

UP court recommends plain packaging for cigarettes

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  Lucknow, July 25, 2014
First Published: 16:55 IST(25/7/2014) | Last Updated: 19:01 IST(25/7/2014)

The Allahabad high court has recommended to the centre to soon consider asking tobacco companies to sell cigarettes and other tobacco products in plain, rather than fancy, packets.

"Colorful packaging in vogue currently draws the attention of youths. Such packaging becomes an incentive for the immature youth to start smoking," the court said.

A bench of justice Surendra Vikram Singh Rathore and justice Shri Narayan Shukla said all cigarette brands shall be sold in a pack having "a similar form and a common colour".

The judges said the brand name shall be displayed only in a restricted part of the packet, while health warnings as required under law shall be displayed on the rest of the packet.

The World Health Organisation estimates that in 2012 tobacco killed six million people worldwide, 600,000 of whom were non-smokers killed by inhaling smoke passively.

South Africa, New Zealand, France and Britain are all considering adopting standardised packaging on tobacco products.

Love Care Foundation, a civil society organisation that had petitioned for plain packaging of tobacco products, cited extensive studies in Australia, United Kingdom and other European countries to stress that branded packs were three times more effective in appealing to smokers than plain packets.

Branded packs were also associated with a higher number of positive smoker attributes, including style and sophistication, and were perceived as more likely to be smoked by females than the plain packs, the petitioners' counsels told the court.

The judges also observed that plain packaging had even been recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) as a marketing restriction.

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