Indian tobacco product companies decided to stop production on Friday citing ambiguity over the new pictorial warning rules as the reason. The Tobacco Institute of India, whose members account for 98% of cigaretted manufactured in the country, said it feared “potential violation of rules by continuing production” and thus decided to shut down its factories. NDTV reported that the TII statement said the move will result in an estimated loss of Rs 350 crore a day in the tobacco industry’s turnover in India.
The health ministry implemented a rule calling for pictorial warnings on tobacco products to cover 85% of the box, as compared to the current 40%. The TII said it had sought a clarification on the order on March 15. A parliamentary panel had said the ministry’s new rules were too hard on the industry.