The Supreme Court on Thursday paved the way for the Centre to regulate the rules on advertisement of tobacco products at their sale outlets as per which displaying billboards on cigarettes that are larger than 60 centimetres (cm) by 45 cm at shops are barred.
Acting on an appeal filed by an NGO, a bench headed by Justice GS Singhvi stayed a seven-year-old Bombay High Court directive and allowed the Centre to enforce Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce, Production, Supply and Distribution) Rules, 2004 -also known as Point of Sale rules - for regulating the advertisements.
The HC had in 2005 stayed the implementation of rules that doesn't allow such billboards to be displayed at the selling points of tobacco products. While staying the HC order, the SC said the same had frustrated the objectives of the Act.
According to the appeal filed by Health For Millions, the rule says each board shall contain in warnings in an Indian language that "tobacco causes cancer" or "tobacco kills" and it should be prominently displayed measuring 20 cm by 15 cm.