Hyderabad: As many as 653 doctors have petitioned the Union health ministry to implement the new rule of pictorial warnings on tobacco products from April 1. A panel of doctors from Hyderabad has stated that the warnings are the most effective form to caution smokers.
Apollo Cancer Institute director Dr Vijay Anand Reddy said, “It has been proved in the West that large pictorial warnings have cut down tobacco consumption. The message in the pictures helps even an illiterate person understand that this product is not good for health. It must be effectively implemented as 27.5 crore people suffer from tobacco addiction in India.”
Dr Sandhya Gokavarapu, associate head and neck surgeon at Continental Hospitals, said, “Pictorial warnings covering 85 per cent of the cigarette packs are a must to create the required impact. It has been shown that the pictures have helped people to avoid tobacco use, and those who are addicted have worked hard towards de-addiction.”
Dr Pankaj Chaturvedi, professor and surgeon at Tata Memorial Hospital, said, “There is a plethora of medical evidence proving that tobacco is the product that is causing disease, disability and death. Recommendations of the committee on subordinate legislation to delay and dilute the notification for pictorial warnings are not in public interest.”
Dr Ritesh Ranjan of SVS Institute of Dental Sciences and Dr N.V.S. Shekar Reddy, professor of oral and maxillofacial surgery in Hyderabad, said pictorial warnings were being wrongfully equated with a ban on tobacco.