Rules seeking Tobacco Products to display health warnings, challenged by Tobacco Industry before Supreme Court


Jaipur: Against the health warning display issue, the tobacco industries in India have sought to appeal before the honourable Supreme Court for delaying the strict new health warning rules. And this move of the tobacco industries is claimed by the anti- smoking activists as could backfire given that the Court has ruled against the Cigarette Makers in the Past.

It was also seen earlier this month (April) that the companies in India dealing in Tobacco and its products including the ‘Big Tobacco’ firms in the West, were seen going on strike after closing their factories and in their protests they went against new norms requiring eighty- five per cents of the cigarette packet’s surface to be containing the said Health warnings. Earlier there was 20 per cents requirement.

As such, the tobacco industries have now this time decided to move to the Apex Court, as their last avenues of appeal for cigarette makers. Moreover, as per one of the activists- Sanjay Seth said that “the tide has turned and the tobacco industry is on a downhill slope.”

It was seen in the year 2013 that the Court found slamming over the Government, for its not being serious about the tobacco- control laws.

Notably, an industry lobby group – The Tobacco Institute of India is seems declining to prefer any comments for this story. However, it termed the said packaging rules as ‘drastic and impractical’, and said that the concerned law will as per them, increase smuggling of illegal cigarettes.

However, complying the new rules of packaging, a single small local producer- Golden Tobacco, is seemed starting the selling of cigarette packs, containing the said health warnings. However, there are some tobacco majors like ITC Ltd, Phillip Morris International’s Indian partner- Godfrey Phillips are found holding out.

It was seen that a traditional smokes / beedies maker’s industry group from the southern India had moved to the honourable Apex Court and in its claim it has challenged first the new rules, as per reports. Moreover, it has also sought a stay in the enforcement of the new rules. Now hearing on the plea is fixed on 22nd day of April.

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