Skip to main content



The World Health Organisation has said the economic burden attributable to tobacco-related diseases is a staggering Rs 1,04,500 crore annually in the country and has pitched for large-size warnings on packs to control tobacco consumption in a cost-effective manner. "The economic burden attributable to tobacco-related diseases is a staggering Rs 1,04,500 crore annually in the country, while human cost nearly a million deaths," WHO representative in New Delhi Henk Bekedam said in a statement. Calling for large and prominent health warnings on the packs of tobacco products, he said past experiences have shown that this is "a cost-effective means of increasing public awareness about the health effects of tobacco use and in reducing tobacco consumption". Besides, he termed the ongoing debate on reducing the size of warnings on tobacco products, especially on bidis and smokeless tobacco as "worrisome." India implemented Article 11 of WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) a few years back, but is still not FCTC-compliant for this provision as the tobacco pack warnings occupy only 40 per cent of the principal display area only on one side of the pack - that makes up 20 per cent of the total display area of the pack. The Supreme Court is hearing a bunch of petitions on ordering large size warnings on the packs. In terms of the health warnings on tobacco products packages, the country fares very badly with a ranking of 136 out of 198 countries in the international status report on Cigarette Package Health Warnings 2014. Countries ranked after 143 do not display pictorial health warnings at all. He warned that "any reduction in the size of pack warnings will be a great setback for public health in the region, as neighboring countries, including Nepal (90 per cent), Thailand (85 per cent), Pakistan (85 per cent), Sri Lanka (80 per cent) and most recently Myanmar (75 per cent) have overcome similar challenges and notified large pictorial warnings". As per the Global Adult Tobacco Survey-India (GATS 2010) covering the age group 15 and above, 71 per cent of cigarette smokers notice health warnings on packages and 38 per cent think of quitting because of the warning label. In case of bidi smokers, as many as 62 per cent of notice health warnings on the packs and 29 per cent think of quitting due to the warning. When it comes to the consumers of smokeless tobaccos, 63 per cent of them notice health warnings on the package and 34 per cent think of quitting due to the warning label, he said.

Prominent pack warnings also assist in reducing illicit trade and improve tax administration as these products are easy to distinguish from those which do not conform, Bekedam said. On October 15, 2014, the government had issued a notification making it mandatory for tobacco companies to display graphic health warning occupying 85 per cent of the principal display area of all tobacco packs. The gazette notification amending the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products (Packaging and Labelling) Rules, 2008, which came into effect from April 1, 2015, is now scheduled to come into force on April 1, 2016. Bekedam said the implementation will uphold the announcement made by the country in Moscow in 2014, during the sixth session of the Conference of the Parties (COP-6) to the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control. He also batted for higher taxes on tobacco, saying along with large graphic pack warnings, taxation has been a cost-effective and evidence-based strategy to reduce tobacco use. Moreover, he said both these measures are easy to implement, with no cost to the government as tobacco taxation as a fiscal policy is a win-win situation as it not only raises revenue but also reduces consumption. As the country will be hosting the seventh session of the Conference of the Parties (COP7) this November, Bekedam said implementation of 85 per cent pictorial warnings on both sides of packs and developing a comprehensive tobacco tax policy will uphold New Delhi's position as a global leader in health and save precious lives, he said. 


Popular posts from this blog


Telecom stocks today surged up to 8 per cent after the recent increase in Reliance Jio tariffs, which is largely seen as positive for the sector. Shares of Bharti Airtel jumped 4.99 per cent to close at Rs 497.50 on BSE. Bharti Airtel was the biggest gainer among the 30-share index components. The scrip of Idea Cellular soared 7.74 per cent to end at Rs 98.15 and Reliance Communications zoomed 7.60 per cent to Rs 17.70. Reliance Jio made its service dearer by about 15 per cent for its popular 84-day plan at Rs 459 from October 19, under which subscribers get 1GB 4G data at high speed per day. The company restructured its various schemes by reducing their validity period. The recent increase in Reliance Jio tariffs will increase its average revenue per user by up to 20 per cent and is a positive for the telecom sector, which is seeing a rapid consolidation, says a Philip Capital report. Established telecom sector players have seen huge reduction in their margins. Idea Cellular and Reli…


Stock markets ended on a flat note on Wednesday, just below their record highs, but finished Samvat 2073 with robust gains of over 16 per cent. Equities added over Rs 25 lakh crore to investors' wealth this Samvat year. The benchmark Sensex has gained 4642.84 points, or 16.61 per cent, in the Hindu Samvat year 2073, while the broader NSE Nifty surged 1572.85 points, or 18.20 per cent during this period.
Small loss in last session
In the last session of the Samvat 2073 on Wednesday, the 50-share Nifty fell by 23.60 points or 0.23 per cent to close at 10,210.85 after moving between 10,175.75 and 10,236.45. The Sensex resumed lower at 32,518.56 and fell further to a low of 32,462.85 before ending at 32,584.35, down 24.81 points or 0.08 per cent. Investors adopted a cautious approach ahead of the long Diwali weekend, while a weak rupee too affected sentiment, brokers said.
- Axis Bank emerged as the worst performer among Sensex components, tumbling 9.52 per cent following a spike in ba…


The Aditya Birla group has entered the top valuation league with a market cap of over USD 50 billion post listing of financial services arm Aditya Birla Capital (ABCL), but Tatas remain on top with over USD 132 billion.
The combined market valuation of the Kumar Mangalam Birla-led listed companies stood at Rs 3,42,354.87 crore (USD 53.5 billion) at the end of Friday's trade.
Among various listed companies of the group, UltraTech Cement's valuation stood at Rs 1,10,097.70 crore at the end of Friday's trade while that of Grasim Industries was Rs 76,881.73 crore.
The newly-listed Aditya Birla Capital's market capitalisation was over Rs 55,000 crore, Hindalco (Rs 54,607.09 crore), Idea Cellular (Rs 32,064.91 crore), Aditya Birla Fashion and Retail (Rs 13,155.73 crore) and Aditya Birla Money (Rs 547.71 crore).
Among Indian conglomerates, the Tata group remains on the top in terms of total valuation of listed firms with about Rs 8,46,567 crore (USD 132.5 billion).
There are 29 pu…