GUWAHATI, Aug 23 - The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (H&FW), Government of India has issued revised guidelines for pictorial warning on tobacco packets, which will be implemented from September 1, 2018.
All tobacco packets will carry the warning �Tobacco Causes Cancer�. And from September 1, 2019, the pictorial warning will change to another graphic image and tobacco packets will mention �Tobacco Causes Painful Death�. Violation of this provision will attract punishment for the manufacturer, distributor and retailers.
Referring to the revised guidelines, Dr Amal Chandra Kataki, Director of the Dr B Borooah Cancer Institute (BBCI) said the depiction of specified health warnings would bring greater awareness and sensitisation about the serious and adverse health consequences of tobacco use, especially among youths, children and lesser educated persons. Effective implementation of the rules depends on concerted efforts of all the departments concerned of the Government of India as well as the state governments. It may be mentioned that, in addition to the pictorial warning, a quitline toll-free phone number will be displayed on all tobacco products.
Dr Kataki also stated that there is an existing National Tobacco Quitline Services at Vallavbhai Patel Chest Institute, New Delhi under the Ministry of H&FW. The Ministry recently took three institutes from across the country for setting up the Regional Satellite Centre of Tobacco Quitline Service.
The three regional centres will be Tata Memorial Hospital, Mumbai; BBCI, Guwahati and National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences at Bangalore. The tobacco-related cancers at BBCI accounted for 65.7 per cent and 42.2 per cent of all cancers in men and women respectively.
Dr Srabana Misra Bhagabaty, principal investigator cum nodal officer of the Regional Satellite Centre of Tobacco Quitline Services at BBCI said that the quitline would cater to de-addiction of tobacco users from the entire North East as well as West Bengal and Odisha.
The quitline services at the BBCI will have 22 qualified counsellors and two supervisors to carry out the activities.
The National Quitline Service was launched on May 31, 2016 and initial results have shown that nearly 40 per cent of people who signed up for the Quitline Services had quit smoking or chewing tobacco, Dr Bhagabaty added.
The recent Global Adult Tobacco Survey has shown that compared to 2011, tobacco consumption in Assam has increased to 48.2 per cent from 39.3 per cent.