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PMO backs health ministry on tobacco pictorial warning

NEW DELHI: With the Prime Minister’s Office extending its full support, the health ministry has refused to blink even as tobacco product manufacturers continue to mount pressure on the government, seeking rollback of larger pictorial warnings covering 85 per cent of the packaging space.

Following the implementation of the health ministry order from April 1, many major cigarette makers, including ITC, Godfrey Phillips and VST Industries, decided to shut cigarette manufacturing from Friday alleging ambiguity on the graphic health warning on tobacco product packs.

However, senior officials in the health ministry maintained it is “firm on anti-tobacco stand” as it is a matter of public interest. “Where is the ambiguity? The matter is very clear and what has been done is done,” an official, privy to developments, told TOI.

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