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Review graphical health warning rules on tobacco items, says FAIFA

The current policy on warnings on tobacco products is hurting all stakeholders, including the government, said FAIFA

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

Photo: Shutterstock
Photo: Shutterstock

The Federation of All India Farmer Associations (FAIFA) on Tuesday asked the government to review current rules on graphical health warnings on products, saying it is hurting all the stakeholders. The farmers' body, claiming to represent farmers and farm workers of commercial crops in states including Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka and Gujarat, called for a balanced approach after consultation with all involved parties. "Large health warnings are excessive, unreasonable and have had adverse impacts and unintended consequences," General Secretary Murali Babu said in a statement. The current warnings have only impacted domestic legal industry by severely undermining the competitiveness of Indian tobaccos, he added. It has given impetus to illicit trade and unorganised sector, while the overall consumption in the country continues to grow, Babu claimed.

Under current regulations, 85 per cent of main display area on all product packages has to be covered by health warnings, including pictorials. Since these illegal cigarettes do not use Indian tobacco, it impacts the Indian farmers, further reducing demand for their tobaccos. It may be noted that the Indian FCV farmers have lost about 22 million kgs, said. "The government must have a balanced approach, after consultation with all stakeholders, that does not negatively impact either the Indian FCV farmers, the tax revenue and domestic legal industry," it said. The current policy on warnings on products is hurting all stakeholders, including the government, added.

First Published: Wed, December 20 2017. 02:01 IST