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The Cigarette and other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce, Production, Supply and Distribution) Act, 2003” was enacted in May 2003 mainly to discourage the use of tobacco and to protect the youth and the masses from exposure to second hand smoke (SHS). This Act is applicable to all the tobacco products and extends to whole of the country. Section – 7 of the Act provides for Specified Health Warnings on all tobacco product packs. The Ministry of Health & Family Welfare has notified the new pictorial warnings vide notification G.S.R. No. 727 (E) dated 15th October, 2014. These new rules apply to all types of tobacco products produced, supplied or distributed in India. As per the new Rules, the health warnings shall be depicted on both sides of the tobacco product packages covering 85% of the principle display area.  The date of implementation of these Rules has been notified vide G.S.R. 739 (E) dated 24th September, 2015 to be with effect from 1st April, 2016. (For a copy of the Rules/ Notification please click here)

The depiction of specified health warning would bring greater awareness and sensitization about the serious and adverse health consequences of tobacco use especially among the youth, children and the illiterate.

The Rules also apply to imported cigarettes and other tobacco products for sale in India. French tobacco manufacturing and exporting companies, Trade Associations and Federations are requested to take note of these rules so that trade consignments destined for India are compliant with Rules.

Airlines / Shipping Lines / Freight forwarders and consolidators travelling to India are requested to take note of these rules so that they also check that tobacco consignment(s) destined for India comply  with this law to ensure strict implementation of the new specified health warning on the cigarettes and other tobacco products w.e.f. 1st April, 2016. The sales affected through the duty free shops within India, would also need to comply with these rules.