Congress MP writes to Centre opposing WHO guidelines on tobacco

Published: 03rd October 2012 03:30 PM  |   Last Updated: 16th October 2012 11:58 AM   |  A+A-


Congress MP Rayapati Sambasiva Rao has written to the Centre opposing the guidelines of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC).

In a letter to Union Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad, Rao said that the guidelines would pose difficulties for tobacco cultivation and trade in India.

In the letter, Rao suspected a hand of western cigarette manufactures, "whose ulterior motive is to render Indian tobacco unsuitable for the production of cigarettes."

"Indian cigarette producers will be forced to import tobacco, which would escalate the cost of domestic cigarettes," he observed.

Rao says that the implementation of guidelines would trigger "smuggling of cigarettes into India and would lead to criminalisation of the cigarette trade".

The FCTC guidelines seek to regulate the content of tobacco products and require disclosure of ingredients.

The guidelines also seek to reduce the demand for and supply of tobacco products and cover all aspects of tobacco regulation including advertising and promotion, packaging and labeling, pricing and taxation, illicit trade and smoking cessation.


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