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Issue 7

Tobacco Control in India

Fortnightly News Summary 1-12 December 2008

NATIONAL HEADLINES withdraw the notification prohibiting surrogate advertising

of alcoholic and tobacco products.
♦ Pictorial warning on tobacco products not during (Source: Press Trust of India: 4December 2008)
UPA tenure: Ramadoss
Admitting defeat in ensuring pictorial health warnings on STATE HEADLINES
packets of cigarettes and other tobacco products, India's ♦ Two months after smoking ban, panel to monitor
Health Minister Anbumani Ramadoss Saturday said the
decision has been deferred by at least six months -- by
Two months after smoking in public places was banned, a
when the current United Progressive Alliance government
committee has been set up to monitor the number of
would have finished its term. (Source: The Hindu: 2 December
2008) cases registered in the district against offenders. With the
Food and Drug Administration (FDA) having no clue on
the exact number of cases registered and various
♦ Deferment of pictorial warnings gives beedi regulatory authorities looking into their own cases, the
workers a breather district collectorate felt the need for appointing the
The Union ministry of health and family welfare has coordinating committee to monitor the cases registered.
deferred its plan to enforce legislation that stipulates (Source: Indian Express, Pune, Maharashtra: 9 December 2008)
printing of pictorial warning on beedi packets and tobacco
products by six months, giving a breather to the beedi ♦ HC notice to petitioner on hookah ban
industry that employs 10 million workers across the Taking up an application filed by a Sector-26 bar for
country. The All India Beedi Industry Federation had last becoming a party to a PIL seeking directions against
month said that as many as one million workers, mostly hookah smoking in violation of law, the Punjab and
women, employed in the industry will lose their jobs in the Haryana High Court yesterday issued notice for
next few months as a recent ban on smoking in public December 22 to the petitioner, Burning Brains Society.
places, together with the display of pictorial warnings on The bench has also directed the Chandigarh
packs, will discourage tobacco consumption, triggering a administration to appraise the court about any complaints
fall in sales. (Source: Live Mint News: 5 December 2008) received by it about such bars, and the action taken by
the authorities on the same. (Source: The Tribune, Chandigarh: 2
♦ Tobacco warning may be postpone December 2008)
The warning, due to be implemented from December 1,
was deferred to May 31 at a meeting on Monday. ♦ Banning on-screen smoking affects depiction of
According to sources, the beedi industry issued a strike
reality: Bhatt
notice and this triggered the meeting. (Source: The Times of
India: 2 December 2008) Noted film director Mahesh Bhatt today contended before
the Delhi High Court that ban on smoking scenes in films
and television programmes would prevent filmmakers
♦ Court won’t interfere with order on pictorial from depicting reality on silver screen. "I am not
warning on tobacco packs glamourising smoking but depicting reality by showing
A Division Bench of the Madras High Court has refused to actors smoking in films," senior advocate Sandeep Sethi
interfere with an order passed by a single judge vacating appearing for the film-maker said, adding that any ban on
the interim stay on Labelling Rules notified by the Centre it would adversely impact depiction of reality in films.
on March 15 making it mandatory to print specified (Source: Press Trust of India, New Delhi: 2 December 2008)
pictorial warnings in cigarette and other tobacco packets.
(Source: The Hindu: 2 December 2008) ♦ Another step towards a tobacco-free environment
After numerous notifications with implementation dates
♦ Poor in India-China have limited access to cardio- revised, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare,
treatment Government of India notified the date of implementation of
Cardiovascular epidemic is making inroads in many low- pictorial warnings on tobacco packs as November
and middle-income countries (LMIC) like India and China, 30,2008. While the law finally comes into force in India ,
but the poor have limited or no access to treatment few nations have actually gone ahead implementing a
facilities. Disease risk factors like obesity, high blood solution which can help smokers quit and remain quit on a
pressure, tobacco smoking and diabetes, are on the sustainable basis.
increase in LMICs. (Source: Indo-Asian News Service: 4December (Source: Power of Voice, Pune, Maharashtra: 11 December 2008)
♦ Smoking room in Japanese school
♦ Government turns down request of broadcasters on A Japanese school principal apologised for creating a
surrogate advertisements "smoking room" for students who could not give up smok-
Government has not acceded to the request of private ing. There had been minor fires as a number of students
broadcasters to withdraw its notification prohibiting smoked in secret.
surrogate advertising on television. In a written reply to (Source: DNA, Mumbai, Maharashtra: 11 December 2008)
Lok Sabha here today, Minister of State for Information
and Broadcasting Anand Sharma said that Indian ♦ Smoking ban, really? Do we care, ask Kolkata
Broadcasting Foundation (IBF) in a representation to the residents
ministry dated March 31, 2008 had requested it to It’s been two months since a ban was imposed on
smoking in public but here, in this crowded and chaotic

Provided by the Bloomberg Initiative to Reduce Tobacco Use

Issue 7
metropolis, the ban order seems to have gone up in
smoke with the enforcing agencies loathe to cracking the
whip and lack of cooperation from citizens.
(Source: The Statesman: Kolkata, West Bengal: 3 December 2008)

Provided by the Bloomberg Initiative to Reduce Tobacco Use