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India steps up fight against cigarette firms over health warnings

By Aditya Kalra NEW DELHI (Reuters) – India's health ministry has ordered government agencies to enforce a new rule for bigger health warnings on cigarette packs, stepping up a fight against the country's $10 billion cigarette industry that has shut down its factories in protest. The health ministry's action highlights a growing conflict between the tobacco industry and the federal government which wants manufacturers to cover 85 percent of a cigarette pack's surface in health warnings, up from 20 percent. India's biggest cigarette maker ITC Ltd, part-owned by British American Tobacco, has not implemented the government order, saying it contradicts a parliamentary committee's recommendation for warnings to cover half a cigarette pack.