New Delhi, Aug 21: The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Wednesday notified new sets of specified health warnings for all tobacco product packs by making an amendment in the Cigarettes and other Tobacco Products (Packaging and Labeling) Rules, 2008.
"The amended rules are applicable with effect from September 1, 2018," the ministry said in an official statement.
"Two images were notified vide the above notification with a clause that date of coming into effect of the second image (image 2) of specified health warning, shall be for all tobacco products manufactured or imported after the completion of twelve months from the date of commencement of the first image (image 1)," read the release.
It added: "Image-1 of the said notification came into effect from 1st September 2018 and as such all tobacco products manufactured or packaged or imported on or after 1st September 2019 shall display Image-2."
"Telephone Quit-line number "QUIT TODAY CALL 1800-11-2356" is also the part of the health warning. This helps in creating awareness among tobacco users and gives them access to counselling services to effect behaviour change. There shall be one common specified health warning for both smoking and smokeless forms of tobacco products," the ministry said.
Adding that toll free Tobacco Quit-line Services [1800-11-2356] provides counseling and strategies for quitting tobacco use, the release said: "As per the recent second round of Global Adult Tobacco Survey [GATS -2, 2016-17] conducted in the age group 15 years and above, 61.9% of current cigarette smokers, 53.8% of current bidi smokers and 46.2% of current smokeless tobacco users thought about quitting because of warning label on packets of cigarette, bidi and smokeless tobacco."
Last year, during the first phase, the central government had notified that the packets of all tobacco products must carry a strict warning along with a representative image, message and a helpline number to quit tobacco.
As the second phase starts from September 1, 2019, all the packets of tobacco items would have a new warning image, a Quit-line number and a message which reads--"Tobacco causes painful death.