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India enlarges the pictorial health warnings to 85% of tobacco package
India’s Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has announced that pictorial health warnings covering 85% of the display surface of all tobacco products will be effective in April 2016.

At present, the pictorial health warnings in India are required to cover only 40% of one side of tobacco package. Under the new legislation, all tobacco products are required to be packed in packaging with combined pictorial and textual health warnings covering 85% of the front and the back of the package, and be rotated every 24 months.

Different researches had proven that larger pictorial health warnings can strengthen the warning effect including increasing the notice of warning content, thoughts of the smoking hazards, intention to quit and stopping ongoing smoking behavior. Australia, the first country to introduce plain packaging in December 2012, which restricts the cigarette packs’ design in plain format and prohibits any trademarks, graphics and logos for display. It has resulted a decrease in smoking population after 2-year implementation. More countries include UK, Ireland, France and New Zealand have announced or are planning to implement plain packaging.

Legislative proposal is rendered by the Hong Kong Government to enlarge the size of pictorial health warnings to at least 85% of the cigarette pack area in May 2015. To increase smokers’ motivation to quit and safeguard public health, COSH envisions the proposal could be passed promptly and plain packaging could be implemented in short run.

Source: International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease
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