New images for pictorial warning, ‘quit line’ number on tobacco product pack

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NEW DELHI: The health ministry on Monday issued new images for the pictorial warning on packs of cigarette and other tobacco products. The new pictures, which will be used with effect from September 1, will have to
be accompanied with a quitline number.

According to a health ministry order, all packs of tobacco products must have “tobacco causes cancer” and “tobacco causes painful death” written in white on a red background, and the words “quit today call 1800-11-2356” in white on a black background along with the pictorial warning.

The quit line number is a pertinent feature of the new warning. It mandates the packaging to display 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.

The health ministry maintains pictorial health warnings on the packs of tobacco products are the most cost-effective tool for educating people on the health risks of tobacco use. A study by the National Council of Applied Economic Research shows about 46% of illiterate men smoke, whereas only 16% of college graduates are hooked to tobacco.

The government released two separate set of images. The first set will be used on tobacco products from September 1, 2018,for a period of 12 months, whereas the second set of images will be used from September 1, 2019.