Tobacco manufacturers today said the new rules stipulating that 85 per cent of space on packs be covered with health warning messages are not practical for smokeless products like chewing tobacco.
The All-India Tobacco Manufacturers Association requested the government to bring “other tobacco products” under the old rule of 40 per cent pictorial warnings on one side.
“The new rules are suitable for box-type packaging but not suitable for smokeless tobacco industry,” the Association said in a statement, adding that back-side printing cannot be done as this side is made transparent so that the product inside is visible.
Starting April next year, 85 per cent of space on packs of cigarettes and other tobacco products will have to be mandatorily covered with graphic and text warning health hazards. This rule is aimed at making the country the top ranker in terms of display of caution on packages.
According to a notification issued by the Union Health Ministry, of the 85 per cent space, 60 per cent will be devoted to pictorial warnings while 25 per cent will be covered by text warnings.
The Association further said the smokeless tobacco is a cottage industry and does not have sophisticated printing technologies.