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Outrage on delay to make pictorial warnings on tobacco products mandatory

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  • Bobby Ramakant
    Outrage on delay to make pictorial warnings on tobacco products mandatory (To read this posting in HINDI LANGUAGE
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 14, 2008
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      Outrage on delay to make pictorial warnings on tobacco products mandatory

      (To read this posting in HINDI LANGUAGE , please click here)

      National Organization for Tobacco Eradication (NOTE
      INDIA) has strongly condemned the tactics adapted by Government of India in Postponing the implementation date to display Pictorial warning on Tobacco Products.

      In spite of an urgent call for action by the shimla High court and the civil Society Government has not indicated a final decision on the date of nature of warning. It was deferred from June 1, 2007 and postponed four times thereafter.

      Tobacco claims around 1 Million lives per year in India. The tall is likely to exceed to 2 Million per year in the next 20 years. Unsuspecting poor and illiterate people form the major chunk amongst the victims. Rampant illiteracy demands the need to display Pictorial warnings on the products. However, the Government has turned a nelson's eye to the reality, obviously bowing before the dictates of Tobacco lobby.

      Both the Tobacco Industry and Government have a duty to provide a clear Communication of health risks of Tobacco use to potential and current Consumers.

      Government of India seems to have fallen prey to the argument of Tobacco Industry that the display of Pictorial warnings would invite decline in Consumption, thereby causing unemployment. This is manifestly untrue as the decline in consumption is likely to be remain steady for next two decades.

      Moreover, it will be offset by Growth in population.

      Pictorial warnings have been introduced in several developing & neighboring nation like Thailand, Singapore, and Brazil, Chile, S. Africa & others.

      A Group of Ministers (GOM) has been convened by the Prime Minister to examine the issue. This group includes shri. Pranab Mukharjee (Minister for external affairs) Shri Jaipal Reddy (Minister for Urban Dept), Shri Priyaranjan Dasmunshi (Minister for Parliamentary affairs), Shri Kamal Nath (Minister for Commerce) Shri Oscar Fernandes (Minister for state Labour and Employment & Dr. Ambumani Ramdoss (Minister for health & family welfare). This GOM is likely to be biased in favor of the Tobacco lobby. Shri Pranab Mukharjee for instance has a Massive presence of beedee workers in his constituency. Andhra Pradesh, from where Mr. Jaypal Reddi hails, is also a Tobacco Growing state.

      Hence, one cannot expect a larger perspective and sane decision from the GOM.

      Display of Pictorial warnings will not result in instant decline in sales. The same will be slow and the Companies will have ample time to shift to other greener pastures in terms of production and employment. The Total Tobacco Industry, today in worth 45,000 Crores and public loss in terms of tobacco related disease is 30,000 Crores. Another 15,000 Crores are spent on tobacco Consumption. Thus, the industry as such cannot be called productive or revenue generating especially at the cost of innocent million lives.

      If Tobacco were to be introduced in the market, as on today, it would never have seen light of the day, as the market would not entertain instant killers. Hence, we request the Govt. of take instant decision overruling petty claims and the interests of self-seeking industry. We need to think in terms of long-term health of the nation in general.

      We hope better sense will prevail on GOM and GOI.

      Dr Shekhar Salkar
      General Secretary
      NOTE India.
      Cell: 9822485769
      Date: 12 Jauary 2008

      (To read this posting in HINDI LANGUAGE , please click here)

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