The Ministry of Health has extended the duration of existing health warnings on tobacco packs till August 31.
The health ministry had notified on September 24, 2015, for mandatory display of new health warnings covering 85% of the principal display area on all tobacco products from April 1, 2016, which weas implemented in April last year.
The tenure of the existing health warning was to end on March 31.
As per the rules laid down under the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act (COTPA), during the rotation period of 24 months, two images of specified health warnings as notified in the Schedule, had to be displayed on all tobacco product packages. Each of the images had to appear consecutively on the package with an interregnum period of 12 months, as per the notification.
“…if the specified health warnings provided are not amended by the Central Government with new specified health warnings at the end of the rotation period for the next rotation, then the existing specified health warnings for the second twelve months shall continue for a further period till the 31st day of August, 2018,” according to an amendment in the Cigarettes and other Tobacco Products (Packaging and Labelling) Rules, 2008 brought in by the ministry yesterday.