Pictorial health warnings on all tobacco products must cover 85% of the box containing them, the Supreme Court ruled on Wednesday. These included cigarettes, beedis and non-smoking tobacco. The apex court dismissed a plea from the tobacco industry seeking to roll back the implementation of the new rule. The two-judge bench said the tobacco industry “should not violate any rule prevailing as of today”.

The apex court also directed the Karnataka High Court to hear numerous pleas challenging the new pictorial policy that were filed in several courts across India and asked it to decide on the matter within six weeks, Reuters reported. The Supreme Court declined an industry lawyer’s request to allow a lower court’s stay order to continue. Solicitor General of India Ranjit Kumar told the court the Centre was committed to the new rules, which came into effect on April 1, and opposes any stay on their implementation.

The new tobacco-control policy, aimed at making consumers more aware of the ill-effects of tobacco, has seen a backlash from the industry, which has called it impractical and claimed it will boost cigarette smuggling. Last month, a number of tobacco product companies had decided to stop production. The Tobacco Institute of India, whose members account for 98% of cigarettes manufactured in the country, had said the move will result in an estimated loss of Rs 350 crore a day in the tobacco industry’s turnover in India.