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Tabacco retailers stage protest against pictorial warnings

Akhil Bharatiya Pan Vikreta Sangh and its partner trade associations from all over the country held a demonstration outside the Health Ministry premises

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

Tobacco and betel shops contribute 7-10% of total FMCG turnover in the country and account for 65-75% of cigarette sale volume

retailers and traders today staged a protest here to press for reduction in mandatory 85 per cent graphical health warnings on packages, saying the norm has led to a spurt in smuggling of

Smuggling of items that have no picture warnings and give an impression to consumers that they are safer has increased after the health ministry's order on pictorial warning, the retailers said.

"Since May 2016, when the size of the health warnings on have become larger, we have seen a huge spurt in the availability of smuggled cigarettes," Akhil Bharatiya Pan Vikreta Sangh, which claims to represent 75 lakh traders and retailers, said.

The government issued a notification dated September 24, 2015 for mandatory display of new health warnings covering 85 per cent of the principal display area on all from April 1, 2016.

Stating that retailers are selling for which there is a demand, the body said: "There is a concerted attempt by vested interests to destroy the domestic industry, which will lead to unemployment of lakhs of people."

and its partner trade associations from all over the country held a demonstration outside the premises.

"The anti-tobacco policy is being driven by vested interests promoted by various NGOs who are receiving huge sums of money from international players," Ram Ashrey Mishra, President, said.

First Published: Fri, December 22 2017. 01:56 IST
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