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90% cigar products comply with pictorial warnings in Assam

Statesman News Service |

Ninety per cent of the cigarette products sold across Assam comply with the new rule mandating 85 per cent of package surface area to carry pictorial health warning on tobacco packets, according to a recent survey.

The survey found that all leading brands of cigarettes and smokeless tobacco and bidis sold across Assam follow the guidelines mandated by central government since April 1 this year.

The survey conducted by the Voluntary Health Association of Assam (VHAA), Voluntary Health Association of India (VHAI) and several other local bodies was carried out in eight states of Assam, Andhra Pradesh, Delhi, Jammu and Kashmir, Kerala, Karnataka, Rajasthan and West Bengal.

The survey results showed that printing the new 85 per cent warnings is practically feasible on all tobacco products, a VHAA release said here on Tuesday.

Appreciating VHAA for the survey, state Nodal Officer of the National Tobacco Control Programme (NTCP) Assam, Arundhati Deka said the health department and other enforcement agencies are trying their best to make 100 per cent compliance of the new pictorial health warning.

"The survey proved that pictorial warning covering 85 per cent of the pack area can be printed on tobacco products, contrary to claims made by the tobacco industry that it is practically not feasible," Deka said.

The ministry of health and family welfare has already issued directions to the authorities concerned in this regard.

The Assam home department recently issued instruction to all superintendents of police and deputy commissioners to implement the new pictorial rule in "letter and spirit".