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Health minister JP Nadda endorses ‘plain packaging’ for cigarettes – Draws flak from tobacco manufacturers

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WHO intends to promote 'plain packaging' globally

WHO intends to promote ‘plain packaging’ globally

On the occasion of ‘World No Tobacco Day’(31 May), the health minister Jagat Prakash Nadda endorsed the decision of the World Health Organization (WHO) to implement ‘plain packaging’ for cigarettes and tobacco products globally. He has also hinted upon its implementation in India.

Understanding ‘Plain Packaging’

Plain, or standardised, packaging has a uniform colour across all brands, except for health warnings. Any brand names are in small, non-distinctive lettering.

Key Takeaways of Plain Packaging

  • Will make smoking comparatively less glamourous and attractive
  • Will significantly impact ‘public health’
  • Some of the influential countries, such as the United Kingdom (UK), France and Australia, have already implemented “plain packaging”

Debates

  • Tobacco-manufacturing companies have derided the decision as mere “dogma” than a “fact”
  • Such an implementation will increase illegal market
  • Not likely to impact smoking trends
  • Impact the livelihood of people
  • Impact the intellectual property rights of legal manufacturers and promote the cause of smuggled foreign brands

Anti-Smoking Measures Available

  • India has already adopted strict health warnings size rule by increasing the size of warnings from 40 per cent to 85 per cent

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