PM's Indian subsidiary removes tobacco advertisements in
Activists to go to court for legal action against Godfrey Phillips
The point-of-sale tobacco advertisements that were violating the Indian tobacco control Act in
In the lead up to the removal of these advertisements, activists and media had reported that the advertisements of a cigarette brand of world’s largest tobacco company - Philip Morris’ Indian subsidiary were blatantly violating ‘The Cigarette and Other Tobacco Products Act 2003' and the rulings for the point-of-sale tobacco advertising.
Clearly due to the mounting pressure, these tobacco advertisements were removed by last evening.
“I’m extremely happy that the advertisement boards were removed! But we cannot take these violations lying down! I’m moving the local court against the Godfrey Phillips [Indian subsidiary of Philip Morris], the dealers and the kiosk owners” said
Dr Shekhar Salkar, General Secretary of National Organization for Tobacco Eradication (NOTE
The rulings for point-of-sale tobacco advertising in accordance with ‘The Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce, Production, Supply and Distribution) Act, 2003’, envisage stringent and immediate action by the State Government against advertisement of smoking and other tobacco products.
The rules clearly mention that on point-of-sale of tobacco products, only the kind of tobacco product being sold should be mentioned, and no brand name, or any other promotional message or picture is permitted under the Indian law.
But the tobacco advertisements boards in
“The Act does not allow display of pictures at the point of sale of tobacco products, which has been done [pictures were displayed earlier] in the advertising board placed at a kiosk in Panaji near Hotel Lucky, opposite Municipal garden and kiosk below D. V. talaulikar hospital, Khalap Mension, Vasco,Goa. The law states that, at a point of sale of cigarettes, the boards shall contain only the words: - ‘Cigarettes are sold here’” had reported Dr Salkar.
Although the rulings of the tobacco control Act mentions stringent and immediate action by the state government against such violations, it is yet to be seen how urgently and stringently will the government act to protect public health from the tobacco industry interference.
(a) All the existing points of sale advertisement boards for cigarettes and other tobacco products will have to be removed.
(b) The point of sale advertisement boards that is permitted under the Rules shall not exceed 60 cm x 45 cm. Each of these boards should contain the specified health warning occupying the top edge of the board measuring 20 cm x 15 cm and the display boards shall only list the type of tobacco product at the point of sale, without any mention of the board name or other promotional message or picture.
Assam Times, Assam, India: 17 January 2008
Asian Tribune, Thailand: 19 January 2008