From April 1, the pictorial warnings on all tobacco products will have to cover 85% of the box containing them, as against the current 40%. This includes cigarettes, beedis and non-smoking tobacco. The government believes the rule will make consumers more aware of tobacco's ill-effects, reported livemint.
Amal Pushp, director (tobacco) in the ministry of health and family welfare said, "The ministry has issued a notification in February and we will continue with it.” The Health Ministry had come up with the new rule, which specified that the health warning should cover at least 85% of principle display area of the packaging, in October 2014. However, the tobacco lobby strongly opposed the move.
Earlier this month, a parliamentary panel said the ministry's order was too harsh on the tobacco industry and urged the government to restrict the increase in size of the warning to 50%, reported Reuters. However, the government has decided to go ahead with its order.