'Tobacco Kills/Smoking Kills' -- such health warnings would be mandatory on all tobacco products soon failing which the sellers would attract stringent penalty including imprisonment.
Other health warnings that could appear on tobacco packages include 'skull and bones sign' or a pictorial representation of ill-effects of tobacco use and a health message.
The Health and Family Welfare Ministry headed by Anbumani Ramadoss, who has been a staunch advocate against smoking, has notified rules in this regard.
"The Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products (Packing and Labelling) Rules 2006 make it mandatory that every package of cigarette or any other tobacco product shall contain the specified health warning," an official release said on Tuesday.
The new rules would come into effect from February 1 next year so as to allow the trade and industry to make the necessary changes in their trade practices.
Any person who produces or manufactures cigarettes or tobacco products without the specified warning shall in the case of first conviction be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to two years, or with fine which may extend to Rs 5,000, or with both.
The second or subsequent conviction would lead to imprisonment for a term which may extend to five years and with fine which may extend to Rs 10,000.
Even the person who sells or distributes cigarettes or tobacco products without the specified warning shall be liable to punishment. This may be imprisonment for a term, which may extend to one year, or with fine, which may extend to Rs 1,000 or with both.
For the second or subsequent conviction, it would be imprisonment for a term which may extend to two years and with fine, which may extend to Rs 3,000.