1. The Cigarettes and other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce, Production, Supply and Distribution) Act, 2003 was enacted in order to discourage the use of tobacco and to protect the youth and the masses from exposure to second hand smoke. This Act is applicable to all the tobacco products and extends to whole of the country. Section-7 of the Act provides for Specified Health Warnings on all tobacco product packs.
2. The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has notified the Cigarettes and other Tobacco Products (Packaging and Labeling) Rules, vide G.S.R. 182 (E) dated 15th March, 2008 and the Rules have been amended from time to time for display of specified health warnings on both sides of the tobacco product packages covering 85% of the principal display area. The rules were last amended in April, 2018 vide GSR 331 (E), dated 3rd April, 2018.
3. As per Rule 5 of the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products (Packaging and Labelling) Rules, the specified health warning on tobacco product package shall be rotated every twenty-four months. Now, the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare vide Cigarettes and other Tobacco Products (Packaging and Labelling) Third Amendment Rules, 2020 has notified the new set of specified health warnings which has come into force on 1st December, 2020. In this regard, a Public Notice has also been published for information to the stakeholders.
4. The Rules also apply to imported cigarettes and other tobacco products for sale in India. The concerned Trade Associations and Federations should ensure that trade consignments destined for India are compliant with the rules.
5. The Airlines/Shipping lines/freight forwarders, and consolidators should check that tobacco consignment(s) destined for India comply with this law and rules.