New Delhi: If the Union Ministry of Health’s plan sees the day, very soon when you pick a tobacco product you will not only have a written warning but a pictorial one too.
Reiterating the government’s stand on the issue, Health Minister Anbumani Ramadoss said that the Government was committed to make carrying pictorial warnings on the tobacco products mandatory.
“The pictorial warnings on the packs of tobacco-related products are going to come definitely,” he said, adding, “the enforcement was supposed to come into force on 1 December, but since the case is pending in the (Himachal Pradesh) high court, the Government will wait for the judgment”.
“The court has said the campaign cannot be enforced till 13 December. We are waiting for the judgment. After that, we will know what course of action to take,” he said.
Ramadoss had recently rued that his fight against the use of tobacco products was facing opposition from various quarters, which had the “backing of tobacco companies”.
He appealed to the NGOs and other like-minded people opposing the use of tobacco to stand against the lobbies and industries.
“I want all the forces who are opposing tobacco to come together as a cohesive force to stand against the lobbies and industries who are ruining the younger generation of this country,” Ramadoss said.
The government has decided to set up a national authority within four months to address the issue related to the tobacco menace, he said. The National Tobacco Control Authority will take care of tobacco-free initiatives, taxation policies and control of tobacco across the borders, he said, adding it will work in liaison with the state government.
The government, in its 11th five-year-plan has allocated Rs500 crores for National Anti-tobacco campaign.