Document Type : Progress of Tobacco Control in South-East Asia Region (Special Issue)
Institute for Global Tobacco Control, Department of Health, Behavior and Society, Institute for Global Tobacco Control, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, Maryland, USA.
Department of Health, Behavior and Society, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, Maryland, USA.
Healis, Sekhsaria Institute for Public Health, 601/B, Great Eastern Chambers, Plot No. 28, Sector 11, CBD Belapur, Navi Mumbai, India.
Background: The burden of tobacco use In India is very high. To inform users of harm, India has a strong health warning label law that applies to all tobacco products. This study examines the extent of compliance of health warning labels on smokeless tobacco (SLT) and bidi products with the Indian law. Methods: In 2017, a systematic protocol was used to collect unique SLT and bidi packages from five Indian states. To assess compliance, we used three indicators: location, label elements, and warning size. Results: Only 1% of the 133 SLT products and none of the 32 bidi packs were compliant with all three compliance indicators. Other compliance-related issues included non-standardized packaging, incomplete health warning labels, poor printing quality, and old warning labels. Conclusion: There is very poor compliance with the health warning label law on bidi and SLT products. India needs to regularly monitor and address implementation to ensure that warning labels are effective.