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India’s largest voluntary organization of doctors practicing modern system of medicine

Shri Narendra Modi

Hon’ble Prime Minister of India

South Block, Raisina Hill

New Delhi-110 001.

Respected Sir,

Greetings from the Indian Medical Association!

Indian Medical Association (IMA) is India’s largest voluntary organization of doctors practicing modern system of medicine. It has a membership of over 2.5 lakh doctors spread across 31 States and 1700 Local Branches in almost all the districts of India.

IMA is also leading the Doctors for Tobacco Control in India (DFTCI) forum which consists of organizations like HRIDAY, PHFI, Cardiological Society of India, Indian Association of Pediatrics, Association of Physicians of India, Indian Dental Association and many other stakeholders.

IMA is concerned about the rising number of deaths and mortality directly due to the ill effects of tobacco products.  In a country like ours, the only answer is effective communication to the public at large about all possible ill effects of tobacco products.

Of the different modes of communication such as text, audio & visual communication, in a country like ours the only and the best way to communicate is using visual options, which in the present case are pictorial health warning on packaging of tobacco products.

World over, it has been proved that larger the pictorial health warnings, better the penetration of the communication to general public.

IMA wishes that Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Govt. of India should stay firm on its commitment given in the Hon’ble Rajasthan High Court and implement 85% pictorial health warnings  on both side of the packaging of tobacco products from April 1, 2016. The pictorial health warning message should also include a line about the benefits of quitting tobacco use.

IMA does not want India to feel awkward during the meeting of the Conference of Parties (COP7) to the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control being held in Delhi in November 2016.

The Government of India should not succumb to the recommendations of the Parliamentary Committee on Subordinate Legislation, which has advised to reduce the pictorial health warning to 50%.

We are sure that the public in general and medical fraternity in particular will not get disappointed this time. We are also sure that Modi Care, a vision of the Modi Government, will see to it that health of the public is much more important than the interest of the tobacco industry.

Please find attached herewith a White Paper on the urgency to implement 85% pictorial health warnings on both sides of Tobacco Packages from April 1, 2016 along with the IMA’ s Resolution on this subject.

Looking forward to its implementation from 1st April, 2016 onwards.

With kind regards,

Yours sincerely,

​Dr ​S S Agarwal             Dr K K Aggarwal

National President        Hony. Secretary General, IMA