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Cigarette smokers will now be able to quit smoking, thanks to a national toll-free number which now will be printed on cigarette packs. 

The notification of the same was issued by the health ministry on Tuesday. This will be implemented from September, where a national toll-free number will be printed on packets to help users quit the addiction, besides enhanced pictorial images and text images which cover 85 per cent of the packet area.

Along with the text messages "tobacco causes painful death" and "tobacco causes cancer", there will be a quitline number — 1800-11-2356 — printed on the packs.

The notification read,

These rules may be called the Cigarettes and other Tobacco Products (Packaging and Labelling) Second Amendment Rules, 2018. They shall come into force on the 1st day of September 2018."


Statistics of tobacco users


  • 10 lakh people die due to tobacco
  • 5,500 children intake tobacco
  • Cigarette smoking has increased by 5.5 per cent in children of the age group 15-17

Recently, the government introduced a quitline number considering the results of Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS) report of 2017, which indicated that 62 per cent of cigarette smokers, 54 per cent of bidi smokers and 46 per cent of smokeless tobacco users thought of quitting because of pictorial warning labels on tobacco products.

According to Dr. Pankaj Chaturvedi — a cancer surgeon at Tata Memorial Hospital, Mumbai — every year, nearly twelve lakh deaths occur in India due to tobacco use. He also said that tobacco is responsible for nearly 50 per cent of all cancers in India and 90 per cent of oral cancers.

The Union health ministry’s decision is a very important one as because of this, fear will be instilled in cigarette and tobacco users and this, in turn, will help users to quit smoking. The helpline number will help users to quit smoking,” Dr. Pankaj Chaturvedi, cancer surgeon, Tata Memorial Hospital.

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