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Last Updated : Apr 28, 2016 10:41 AM IST | Source: PTI

Farmers, retailers hold protest against 85% tobacco warning

From April 1, the Health Ministry's notification came into force for implementation of the Cigarettes and other Tobacco Products (Packaging and Labeling) Amendment Rules, 2014. It prescribes larger pictorial warnings, covering 85 percent of packets on tobacco products.


Tobacco farmers and small retailers held a protest march in the national capital demanding roll back of 85 percent pictorial warning on tobacco products.


From April 1, the Health Ministry's notification came into force for implementation of the Cigarettes and other Tobacco Products (Packaging and Labeling) Amendment Rules, 2014. It prescribes larger pictorial warnings, covering 85 percent of packets on tobacco products.


The members of Federation of All India Farmer Associations (FAIFA) and Akhil Bharatiya Pan Vikreta Sangathan (ABPVS) held a protest march and also submitted their demands to Prime Minister Narendra Modi as well as Health Minister J P Nadda, said a statement issued by FAIFA.

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"We appeal to our Health Minister and Prime Minister to stop this visible example of undemocratic legislation and immediately roll back 85 percent warnings till comprehensive livelihood solutions are provided to marginalised and displaced stakeholders like retailers and farmers," it said.


They demanded a detailed investigation to unearth real motives behind the new rule to implement 85 percent warnings on tobacco products.


The new rule is being implemented in an "undemocratic manner, abruptly and without balancing the interests of the millions of farmers, factory workers, rural workers, micro retailers and their dependent families," the statement said.


The implementation of larger Graphic Health Warnings is neither practical, nor is in the interest of either consumer, retailer, farmer or government, it added.

Since cigarettes are the most smuggled item in India after gold, the FAIFA said, "The smuggled cigarettes do not have Graphic Health Warnings, and therefore consumers also prefer them, as many of them believe that Indian cigarettes are more harmful."

There are 45.7 million people dependent on the tobacco industry in India and the government did not consult them while framing rules, it added.



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First Published on Apr 28, 2016 08:46 am
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