Srinagar, May 14, 2016: Cigarette is a legal product, but already a health concern also, as it impacts the health of people smoking it, who while smoking also know that smoking is injurious to health, but many consumers do not know the categorization/ difference between a legal, genuine, tax paid, pictorial warning complying cigarettes produced by using high quality technology & tobacco, and a cheaper, illegal, non tax paid cigarette with no pictorial warning compliance, which is sold cheap as its non tax paid and is produced using low quality, worst health affecting tobacco.
But a consumer can differentiate now, between the above 2 types of cigarettes’ categories mentioned, on the basis of the pictorial health warnings on the cigarette packs.
The new Central Govt. notification, GSR- 727-E, dated- Oct 15, 2014, stating 85% pictorial warning on both sides of cigarette packs, has been made effective from April 1, 2016, on all cigarettes produced from April 1, 2016 onwards, and has been implemented by all cigarette companies now.
Cigarette companies have already started producing 85% pictorial warning packs in their factories & all legal, genuine cigarettes will have these warnings, will soon be in the market
This is to educate the consumers regarding a genuine, tax paid, legal cigarette which will be less health affecting than other cheaper option which are worst health affecting.
The pictorial warning, 85% on both sides of the packs of cigarettes has been made a mandatory requirement as per new law by Government and hence is just a pack change with cigarettes remaining the same in size & taste.
There is no change in stick & no change in product, in genuine, legal cigarettes, so essentially it’s the same smoke with a new pictorial warning message on packs, which countries like Nepal, Pakistan, Thailand already have these warnings on their pack.
According to the General Secretary of NGO, Infinite Achivers, Mr Sunit Narula, “Industry bodies CII and FICCI have made representations to the union health ministry to reduce the pictorial health warning for cigarettes from current 85% of the pack arguing that it will flourish the sales of illegal and smuggled cigarettes in the country. But if this do not happen, then consumer awareness and education is necessary to educate smokers about the categorization/ difference between a legal, genuine, tax paid, pictorial warning complying cigarettes produced by using high quality tobacco and a cheaper, illegal, non tax paid cigarette with no pictorial warning compliance, which is sold cheap as its non tax paid and is produced using low quality, worst health affecting tobacco. Hence, its very important to educate the smoker consumers nationwide, who try to flourish the trade of illegal and smuggled cigarettes, at the same time affecting their health in worst manner.”
2015 Kashmir Despatch