Saturday, 9 April 2016

Padma Awardee Doctors Forum Supports the 85% pictorial warning on tobacco products

Padma Awardee Doctors Forum Supports the 85% pictorial warning on tobacco products

The Padma Awardee Doctors Forum has written to the Prime Minister regarding the on-going plea for 85% pictorial warning on all tobacco products.

A notification by the Health Ministry on September 24, 2015, for implementation of the Cigarettes and other Tobacco Products (Packaging and Labeling) Amendment Rules, 2014, came into force on April 1, 2016. These prescribe larger pictorial warnings, covering 85 per cent of packets on tobacco products.

The IMA in the recent past mobilised 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 An SMS campaign was launched on the health effects of tobacco by IMA. 
Welcoming the Indian government’s move Padma Shri Awardee Dr K K Aggarwal, Convener of the forum & Honorary Secretary General IMA said, “We all thank our Prime Minister Modi Ji for sticking to the 85% pictorial warning stand of the medical profession”.

The tobacco industry is making an effort to thwart this critical public health measure that can prevent millions of lives and pressurise the Government to delay and dilute the 85% pictorial health warnings. Cigarette manufacturers have called for closure of factories as a pressure tactic. 

'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”, added Dr KK Aggarwal.

The following messages were shared by the members of the Padma Awardees Forum:

·      Prof N. K. Ganguly former Chief ICMR - I convey my support to the same
·      Dr Srinath Reddy, Head PHFI - I approve the initiative and I thank IMA for its leadership in the area.
·      Dr S K Sarin Director ILBS - I fully endorse the pictorial warning
·      Dr Prof. Neelam Kler, Neonatologist at Ganga Ram Hospital - I am in complete agreement of the same
·      Dr K K Talwar Former Head PGI Chandigarh – A special thank you to the government and the medical fraternity, I support the efforts
·      (Hony.) Brig. Anil Kohli former Chief Dental Council of India - I really appreciate the efforts done by Dr K K Aggarwal and the IMA. This is the need of the hour
·      Dr A K Grover Chief of eye, Ganga Ram Hospital – The need of the hour is to continue pressure on all aspects of tobacco control to counter interested lobbies
·      Dr. G. R. Khatri President World Lung Foundation - We may add a line for review of the monitoring of its implementation mechanism along with provisions of COTPA, 2003 at the highest level Central and State levels
·      Dr Mohsin Wali Physician to the President – We applaud the initiative
·      Dr Arvind Lal, Chief of Lal Path Labs - Great! Agree with the draft presented by IMA to a 100%.
·      Dr KK Sethi Former Head of Cardiological Society of India - Agree with the move and the draft

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