Wednesday, 6 April 2016

85% Pictorial Health Warnings on both sides of tobacco packs critical: IMA

85% Pictorial Health Warnings on both sides of tobacco packs critical: IMA New Delhi, April 05, 2016: The IMA welcomes the Rajasthan High Court's move directing the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare to implement 85% Pictorial Health Warnings on both sides of tobacco packs from April 1, 2016. The IMA has mobilized lakhs of Indian doctors across India, developed a white paper on the urgent need of large Pictorial health warnings and called upon the President, Prime Minister, Vice President, Health Minister and the Finance Minister to implement the 85% warnings from 1st April 2016. A letter was also sent to the Health Minister from the Padma Awardee Doctors Forum expressing wholehearted support to the timely and undiluted implementation of 85% PHWs from 1st April 2016. An SMS campaign was launched on the health effects of tobacco by IMA. The tobacco industry is making an effort to thwart this critical public health measure that can prevent millions of lives and pressurize the Government to delay and dilute the 85% pictorial health warnings. Cigarette manufactures have called for closure of factories as a pressure tactic. Commenting on the Tobacco industry's move to halt production, Dr SS Agarwal – National President IMA & Padma Shri Awardee Dr. KK Aggarwal, Honorary Secretary General, IMA, and convener for the Padma Awardee Doctors Forum said, 'The rule clearly says that all packaging must have 85% pictorial warnings on both sides of the product packages. Where is the ambiguity in that? Halting production is an old pressure tactic. These companies do everything to circumvent the law. The cost of saving lives far outweighs the cost of production of a hazardous and harmful product like tobacco and our Government and judiciary are committed to safeguarding lives." IMA lauds the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India for maintaining its stand and will continue to support strong enforcement of 85% PHW on both sides of tobacco packs across the country.

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