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Farmers' body seeks reduction in pictorial health warnings

New Delhi

19-December-2017

A farmers' body on Tuesday urged the government to reduce the graphic health warnings, saying it is hurting all the stakeholders including the government.

The appeal by the Federation of All India Farmers Associations (FAIFA) comes days after the Karnataka High Court struck down the 2014 amendment rules that mandated pictorial health warnings to cover 85 per cent of tobacco product packaging space. 

Stating the government must have a balanced approach, the farmers' body that represents commercial crops, said that every decision should be reached after consultation with all the stakeholders.

"Large health warnings are excessive, unreasonable and have had adverse impact and unintended consequences. They have only impacted the domestic legal industry by severely undermining the competitiveness of Indian tobaccos, giving an impetus to the illicit trade and the unorganised sector, while the overall tobacco consumption in the country continues to grow," said Murali Babu, General Secretary of FAIFA, in a statement. 

The implementation of 85 per cent pictorial warnings had come after the Health Ministry under the Cigarettes and other Tobacco Products Act, 2003 (COTPA) increased the size of graphic health warnings on tobacco products to 85 per cent. 

It came into effect on April 1, 2016. - IANS