Govt vows to enforce rule of large pictorial warnings on packagesThe regulation requiring tobacco companies to print pictorial health warnings, covering 90 percent of their products’ packages, has gone largely ignored.
The regulation requiring tobacco companies to print pictorial health warnings, covering 90 percent of their products’ packages, has gone largely ignored.
All domestic tobacco products already contain statutory pictorial warnings on their packages, but very few have complied with the size regulation introduced in May 2015.
As the country observed World No Tobacco Day on Wednesday, the government has vowed to enforce the regulation on tobacco companies in a bid to discourage use of tobacco among public.
Health Minister Gagan Thapa said the government will make sure that all tobacco companies follow the regulation from the start of the fiscal year 2017-18.
“We have already secured commitment from the Department of Industry to ban those tobacco products in the market whose packages do not comply with the 90 percent rule,” said Thapa.
Pictorial health warnings are believed to have contributed in making people aware of tobacco health hazards. They have also encouraged tobacco users to quit and discouraged new users.
According to a survey conducted by Action Nepal, an NGO, and Nepal Health Research Council in a sample of 2,250 people, 90.3 percent of the respondents said that they were aware of the harms induced by tobacco consumption because of the graphic pictures on the packages.
The study also showed that following the implementation of the pictorial warnings, people who consumed 11 cigarettes a day reduced their consumption down to five a day.
“Graphic health warnings is a major factor to make people aware and help tobacco users kick their habit. The authorities should strictly enforce the regulation of printing large pictorial warnings,” said Anand Chand, chairman of Action Nepal.