Golden Tobacco Ltd., one of the country's oldest tobacco product manufacturers, has become the first to begin implementing the Centre's order to have 85% of cigarette packets bear pictorial warnings. The packs of two of the company's several several brands – Panama and Golden Gold Flake – bearing April 2016 as the manufacture date will have these pictorial warnings on both sides.
The 85% pictorial warning rule applies to packaging of cigarettes, beedis and non-smoking tobacco. The ministry had introduced the new rule in October 2014. However, the tobacco lobby had strongly opposed the decision. Several Indian tobacco product companies decided to stop production on April 1. The Tobacco Institute of India, whose members account for 98% of cigarette manufactured in India, had said the move will result in an estimated daily loss of Rs 350 crore in the tobacco industry’s turnover in India.
While nearly 10 lakh people die in India every year – 2,700 daily – as a result of tobacco use, 50% of cancers that patients in the country suffer from are tobacco-related.