Following the Apex court order upholding the rule compelling shopkeepers who sell tobacco to put up graphic health warnings earlier this month, the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has written to chief secretaries of all states to implement the rule.
“I assume we will start getting responses in another 10-15 days,” said Amal Pushp, director of the National Tobacco Control Programme.
The letters, sent by Keshav Desiraju, special secretary of the ministry of health and family welfare, have also been marked to director generals of police in all states.
On January 3, the Supreme Court lifted the Bombay HC ban on implementation of rules related to display of the warnings.
As per section five of the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce, Production, Supply and Distribution) Act (COTPA), all forms of advertisements about tobacco products, direct, indirect or surrogate, are forbidden.
In 2005, the Centre formulated rules under the Act. When a tobacco company challenged the rules, the HC in 2005 stayed its implementation. The rules say a display board at point of sale must exhibit graphic health warnings.