GoM for pictorial warnings on tobacco product packs

A Group of Ministers (GoM) on Tuesday recommended using pictorial warnings on cigarette, beedi and tobacco product packs but did not set any time-frame for its implementation. Chaired by External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee, the GoM also decided to tone down the nature of pictures and reduce the size of warnings from 50 to 30 or 40 per cent of the pack size. "The chairman will decide on the kind of pictures, which are either a scorpion or lungs and the size of the pictures in consultation with the Union Health and Family Welfare Minister,' Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Priyaranjan Dasmunsi told reporters after the meeting. He said this was the last meeting of the GoM and the final decision on the nature and size would be taken by this weekend. Notification According to Union Health Minister Anbumani Ramadoss, a notification on pictorial warnings would be issued once a decision was taken on the picture and the size. However, the government would run a two-phase campaign to create awareness on the issue before implementation. "Importantly, we want to give time to the Labour Ministry to look for alternative jobs for those who could, if any, be affected by these warnings,' Dr. Ramadoss said. The first phase would be started in the next financial year and depending upon its outcome, the second phase would be launched, Dr. Ramadoss said.

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