December 2, 2014
The government has made an amendment to the ‘Directives for Printing and Labelling of Warning Message and Graphics in the Boxes, Packets, Wrappers, Carton, Parcels and packaging of Tobacco Products-2011’.
As per the amendment, tobacco companies must give more space on packets of cigarettes and tobacco related products to pictorial warnings against health hazards of tobacco consumption.
The coverage area of pictorial warnings in the wrappers, packets and other packaging of the tobacco products has been increased to 90 per cent from the existing 75 per cent, according to the amendment.
The Ministry of Health and Population said the amendment will come into force from May 16 next year.
Earlier, the Directives had made it mandatory to cover 75 per cent space with pictorial warnings against health hazards of tobacco consumption on the wrappers and packets of the tobacco products since November last year. “The decision has been made with a view to discouraging people, especially the young generation, from using tobacco products. Tobacco products cause various non-communicable diseases and the amendment in the law is expected to help minimise the risks,” said Minister Adhikari.
Tobacco use causes various non-communicable diseases like cancer, heart problems and chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases.
According to MoHP, any company violating the Directives will be liable to punishment as per the law.
In Nepal, more than 25,000 people die every year due to diseases caused by excessive use of tobacco. Nepal imports tobacco products worth Rs 28 billion annually.
Source: The Himalayan Times (October 30, 2014)