Saturday, May 26, 2007

Bidi - Skull & Cross warning!!!!!!


How much would a pictorial representation of a warning have an impact on the consumption of a product? The pictorial representation I am talking about is the 'skull and crosses' symbol that is being proposed to be put on tobacco products in the country. The fear expressed by manufacturers is that the sales of tobacco products would drop leading to large-scale unemployment in the Bidi industry. The assertion is that it would lead to a drop in the sales of tobacco products. Though most of the tobacco products do have some sort of warning written on them as in the case of cigarettes and packed tobacco, the warning has not been put on Bidis. The legislation is a step in the right direction, as written warning may not be of much use as the fact is that Bidi is consumed by people who are illiterate ( may a gross generalization) . And when the symbolic picture is in place it would communicate that consumption of tobacco products is harmful. I am not sure about the impact that it would have on the old -seasoned tobacco consumers, but might have an impact on the new-user. The government has been deferring the implementation of the order under the pressure of powerful lobby of Bidi manufacturers in the country.

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