India Downsizes Warning Labels

WHO finds an Indian parliamentary panel’s call for reducing the size of health warnings on cigarette and other tobacco packs “worrisome,” Reuters reports.

Last year, the government delayed new rules asking manufacturers to cover 85% of the cigarette pack’s surface with warnings. Last week, however, the panel said the warnings should be scaled back to 50% of the pack.

"Any reduction in size of pack warnings will be a great setback for public health in the (Southeast Asia) region," said Henk Bekedam, the WHO's India representative. He added that larger pack warnings were a cost-effective means for reducing tobacco consumption.

Smoking kills about 1 million people in India each year, BMJ Global Health estimates.


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