'Has govt delayed health warnings on cigarette packs to control population?'
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from the Supreme Court on Monday: “Is the government doing this to control rapidly increasing population? ”
Appearing for NGO ‘Health for Millions’, senior advocate Indira Jaising told a Bench comprising Justices B N Agrawal and G S Singhvi that the government had succumbed to the pressure exerted by the tobacco lobby and repeatedly postponed implementation of its decision on pictorial warnings.
She asked how the government, which has ministers who own tobacco plantations, could take a decision that was contrary to their interests? Jaising alleged that even the pictorial sign, which was to be ‘skull and bones’ – internationally understood to depict danger – had been diluted to ‘scorpion’ which meant nothing for the common man. She reeled out statistics about large number of deaths caused every day due to use of tobacco in the form of cigarettes, beedis and chewing tobacco.
However, additional solicitor general Gopal Subramaniam said the government had taken a decision to introduce pictorial signs and health warnings on tobacco packs from May 31, 2009 and the health ministry was coordinating with other ministries for the same.
Before adjourning the case to April 30, the Bench asked Subramaniam: “Has the government diluted the pictorial sign and deferred implementation to control burgeoning population?”
Times Of India