Now, cigarette, gutkha, khaini packets to carry 'quit-line' number
From next month, packets of tobacco products will undergo changes in appearance: they will now carry a helpline number for those who want to quit the addiction, along with graphic images of diseased organs and rotting teeth. While the images will cover 85% of the packets, the helpline number will also be displayed prominently, said a notification. This might help curb tobacco use, hoped officials.
Take a note of the number: QUIT TODAY CALL 1800-11-2356
The notification of Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said the Quit-line number "QUIT TODAY CALL 1800-11-2356", will "help in creating awareness among tobacco users, and give them access to counseling services to effect behavior change." This comes after the amendment of Cigarettes and other Tobacco Products (Packaging and Labeling) Rules, 2008 ("Cigarettes and other Tobacco Products (Packaging and Labeling) Second Amendment Rules, 2018").
A million dies annually: This move might bring that down
"The same set of warning images shall be on both smoking and smokeless forms of tobacco products," including in packets of bidi and smokeless tobacco like gutkha, khaini, etc. Since India is home to more than a 100 million smokers, with a million dying every year due to tobacco addiction, these changes are "likely to lead to an increase in demand for tobacco cessation."
Current cigarette packs have rattled many tobacco users: Survey
The ministry also probably got encouraged by a recent survey that showed that many tobacco users are willing to quit after seeing images of damaged lung or mouth on current cigarette packs. The Global Adult Tobacco Survey said that the images rattled 61.9% of cigarette smokers, 53.8% of bidi smokers and 46.2% of smokeless tobacco users, all of who wanted to quit the habit.