Sankaran S, Hiilamo H, Glantz SA. Implementation of graphic health warning labels on tobacco products in India: the interplay between the cigarette and the bidi industries. Tobacco Control 2014 Jun 20.
The authors examine the interaction between cigarette companies, domestic bidi companies and public health groups that eventually led to rotating graphic health warning labels on cigarettes, bidis and smokeless tobacco in December 2011. India illustrates how lobbying by multinational tobacco companies and producers of local forms of tobacco blocked these warning labels for years, and how tobacco control advocates finally overcame this barrier through innovative use of public interest litigation and the Right to Information Act.
A few key documents from LTDL:
Letter from BAT's regional operations director to the British High Commission in New Delhi asking the British government to urge India to allow tobacco companies to implement voluntary health warning labels and marketing restrictions instead of binding legal requirements (BAT 1994)
In 1996, the cigarette companies proposed a voluntary code
to the Ministry of Commerce that included health warning labels and mild marketing restrictions.
In 1999, the Tobacco Institute of India, the cigarette companies’ lobbying organization, made the same proposal to the Ministry of Commerce. Neither voluntary code specified the size or content of the warnings.