Here is a story for our readers from India.
This is a big confusing. I had to read the story carefully three times to make sure I was understanding it correctly.
The Supreme Court of India last week set aside a lower court that had quashed the nation’s rule that cigarette packs must contain graphic warnings.
The rules changed a requirement that 20 percent of the cigarette packs surface must contain health warnings against cigarettes to 85 percent of the surface. A big change.
In essence, a bad ruling for the tobacco industry in India.
From a Reuters story:
The Supreme Court, which heard petitions brought forward by tobacco-control activists, stayed the Karnataka court’s order on Monday, citing the need to protect the health of citizens.
“Health of a citizen has primacy and he or she should be aware of that which can affect or deteriorate the condition of health,” the Supreme Court said in its 13-page order.
“Deterioration may be a milder word and, therefore, in all possibility the expression ‘destruction of health’ is apposite.”
The court’s decision comes as a relief for health advocates and federal health ministry who say bigger health warnings deter tobacco consumption. More than 900,000 people die each year in India due to tobacco-related illnesses, the government estimates.
I liked this part of the story most:
The court’s decision is a blow to cigarette makers such as India’s ITC Ltd and Philip Morris International Inc’s Indian partner, Godfrey Phillips India Ltd, whose representatives call the rules extreme. In protest at the health warning measures, the industry briefly shut its factories across the country in 2016 and filed dozens of legal cases.
Awwww, poor babies. Nothing warms the cockles of my heart more than the thought of tobacco executives POUTING. Especially Philip Morris International. They have been aggressively fighting warning labels on cigarettes worldwide.
This is not the end of the case. The Supreme Court essentially just stayed the lower court’s decision. The case will continue to be heard by the courts in March.
However, it appears some tobacco companies in India are already complying with the Supreme Court decision and are putting the 85 percent warnings on their cigarette packs.