Tobacco warning: SC stays K’taka HC verdict

Tobacco companies will have to go back to carrying a pictorial warning covering 85 per cent of cigarette and tobacco packaging. On Monday, the Supreme Court stayed an order by the Karnataka high court which struck down a regulation that tobacco product packages must have a pictorial warning covering 85 per cent of the space

‘Reducing the size of warnings, a setback in tobacco control’: Experts

  • The Karnataka high court, on 15 December, the last working day before the court closed for winter vacations, struck down the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products (Packaging and Labelling) Amendment Rules, 2014 for being unconstitutional.
  • The Supreme Court on Monday stayed a Karnataka High Court order that had struck down the rule that mandated the pictorial warning should cover 85 per cent of the packages of tobacco products.
  • “Health of a citizen has primacy and he or she should be aware of that which can affect or deteriorate the condition of health,” the Supreme Court said in its 13-page order.
  • The case will next be heard on March 12.

On Monday, the Supreme Court stayed an order by the Karnataka high court which struck down a regulation that tobacco product packages must have a pictorial warning covering 85 per cent of the space.

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Oncologists, Dental Surgeons together wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi against the Karnataka High Court’s order which reverses the 85 per cent pictorial warnings on tobacco products currently in place. The doctors from across the country were distressed after the High Court’s order.

Dr Ravi Mehrotra, the Director at the ICMR-National Institute of Cancer Prevention and Research of the Department said, “It is a good decision. This stay was long over. Cigarette packages should contain plain packaging as it is done in Australia and England.”

Dr Pankaj Chaturvedi, Professor, Tata Memorial Hospital (TMH), Mumbai, said, “I welcome this decision. Many people had quit cigarettes due to the pictorial warnings on the packet. It is clear that the pictures can make a difference as they impact the mind. So, the cigarette packages should carry pictures. This will help people quit cigarette.”