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TNPFTC welcomes the 85 per cent pictorial warning on tobacco products
The implementation of 85 per cent pictorial warning from 1st April, 2016 has been welcomed by the health professionals and specifically the tobacco control community. The move by the Central government is a great initiative which would protect the children, illiterate and the youth from getting into the dreadful habit of tobacco consumption.

Tamil Nadu People's Forum for Tobacco Control (TNPFTC) condemns the so called ambiguity statements put forth by the tobacco industry which is a strategy adopted by the tobacco industry to take the focus away. 

The Tobacco Industry mentioned that they are unsure on whether to follow the GSR Notification or the recommendation mentioned by the Parliament Committee. A big industry giving such statements clearly indicates that they are looking out for a way to escape the rules that have been implied onto them. 

The so called strike from the tobacco industry is also a misleading strategy adopted by them. The Industry had not prepared for the rules which were announced on 24 September, 2015. As per the rule all tobacco products must carry the new pictorial warnings from 1st April, 2016. 

Failure of this rule will have punishments being imposed on the violating tobacco industry and hence the industry stopped production. This in no way is related to the strike.

The tobacco industry's interference with the Central government did not work this time. The Industry being unprepared indicates the confidence they had in their interference and TNPFTC appreciates the move of the Health Department to put public health first. 

Even though the rules have been implemented, it is yet to be seen as to how the State government enforces the rules. It is disheartening to see that the State government has been laid back in enforcing tobacco control rules. Even when many violations have been reported in the state, the State government has been disinterested in taking action against the violations.

TNPFTC demands that the State government take an upper hand now and conduct an effective enforcement of the 85 per cent pictorial warning in the state of Tamil Nadu.

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