In view of the Cigarettes and other Tobacco Products (Packaging and Labeling) Rules, 2008, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare notified new sets of specified health warnings for all tobacco product packs vide its press release1 dated April 5, 2018. Further, the Ministry of Finance vide its notification2 dated June 20, 2018, also released Cigarettes and other Tobacco Products (Packaging and Labeling) Second Amendment Rules, 2018.
As per media reports, an application was filed by tobacco companies against the Ministry's notification. The application alleged the Ministry of acting in contradiction with the Supreme Court's order whereby the Apex Court had stayed the order of the Karnataka High Court which had effectively set aside a Government notification which mandated printing of statutory health warning on tobacco packaging.
However, the Supreme Court of India on July 16, 2018, noted that a large number of people are suffering from oral cancer and in light this fact refused to stay the Ministry's notification on Tobacco product packaging, and adjourned the matter for a hearing in the month of August 2018.
Quit Today Call:
One of the pertinent features of the Ministry's notification is that it mandates the packaging requirement of displaying a "Quit Today Call" number 1800-11-2356 which is an online on-call assistance facility launched for those people seeking support to quit the use of tobacco products.
Applicability of the Second Amendment Rules:
The existing specified health warnings on tobacco product packs shall be continued till August 31, 2018 and the amended Rules will be applicable w.e.f. September 1, 2018.
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