Supreme Court of India Restricts Tobacco Advertising


The Supreme Court of India has canceled a lower court’s suspension of a law regulating the tobacco products advertising. The Supreme Court took a potentiality at Government saying it did nothing to cancel the law since it was issued in 2005.

In 2003 the Indian parliament adopted an anti-tobacco law. Thus in 2004 were introduced a number of rules that made it obligatory for all markets selling tobacco products to have signs that warned about their health risks. Besides this, retailers  also could not display tobacco ads that were bigger than 60 by 45 centimeters

Tobacco lobby in India opposed the new law and in 2005 the Bombay High Court granted a delay on putting the law into action.

А nongovernmental organization Health for Millions signed a petition against this delay. As a response to the petition, on July 22 the Supreme Court, canceled the Bombay High Court’s order. Thus it effectively reestablished the limits on tobacco products advertising displayed in markets and shops where these products are sold.

The Supreme Court said the government did nothing to cancel order by the Bombay High Court. The government’s inaction greatly affected the society, especially its weaker and poor layers who are in India largest consumers of tobacco products.

India signed with the World Health Organization a convention on tobacco control. The convention allows for price and non-price measures to be implemented in order to lower the demand for tobacco. Also it touches global marketing, transnational tobacco promotion, advertising and sponsorship.

Shyam Dev Sharma, who delivers cigarettes to kiosks in central Delhi for 30 years, is skeptical about the new measures considering they will make no difference.

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