Did India Bow to Tobacco Companies? Did India Bow to Tobacco Companies?

Did India Bow to Tobacco Companies?

by Ann Marie Gardner

December 17, 2010


Cigarette manufacturers in India somehow managed to convince the Indian government to delay using the new health warning labels on cigarette packages. The new warnings were set to launch on December 1 but will be postponed for a year claims the Los Angeles Times. This delay is despite or possibly because of the effectiveness the warnings have on smokers quitting. 

The recently released Global Adult Tobacco Survey of India 2010 showed that pictorial warnings have a positive effect on reducing consumption. The survey found that nearly a third of tobacco users considered quitting because of the warnings, which feature a lung and a scorpion symbol with a health message. Some "5,500 young people are initiated into cigarette smoking every day," Bhavna Mukhopadhyay, executive director of the Voluntary Health Assn. of India said. "Most of our population is illiterate and can't read warnings. Pictorial warnings are the most cost-effective and impactful way of warning these people."

 (Image: Creative Commons)

At least this still constitutes a scandal in Canada. In India, even with a more lax approach to laws and regulations, it still seems short-sighted considering 1 million deaths in India are related to tobacco.

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Did India Bow to Tobacco Companies?