In a bid to create awareness and curtail the harmful impact of consuming tobacco-infused products and cigarettes, the government on Thursday stated that from September this year, cigarette packets will have a 'quit line' number displayed on them.
The decision comes after the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare notified a new set of specified health warnings for all tobacco product packs by making an amendment in the Cigarettes and other Tobacco Products (Packaging and Labeling) Rules, 2008 ("Cigarettes and other Tobacco Products (Packaging and Labeling) Second Amendment Rules, 2018").
"One of the most important key features of the new set of specified health warnings will include telephone Quit-line number "QUIT TODAY CALL 1800-11-2356". This will help in creating awareness among tobacco users, and give them access to counseling services to effect behaviour change. It is also likely to lead to an increase in demand for tobacco cessation. The same set of warning images shall be on both smoking and smokeless forms of tobacco products," an official statement read.
As per the recent second round of the Global Adult Tobacco Survey conducted in the age group 15 years and above, it was revealed that 61.9 per cent of current cigarette smokers, 53.8 per cent of current bidi smokers and 46.2 per cent of current smokeless tobacco users had thought about quitting because of the warning label on packets of cigarette, bidi and smokeless tobacco.
Therefore, the aforementioned notification, along with printable versions of the warnings, is being issued in all regional languages.
Furthermore, the Ministry stated that before the new set of specified health warnings come into force, the existing warnings on tobacco product packs shall be continued till August 31.