No anti-tobacco messages along with a smoking scene in the movies
An RTI application has revealed that the Information and Broadcasting Ministry has asked the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) not to run a scroll with anti-tobacco messages each time a smoking scene is shown in the movies. Vide a notification which came into effect from 14th November 2011, it was made mandatory for all new movies that had scenes pertaining to smoking or tobacco use, to provide health warnings at the bottom of the screen all through the duration of the scenes. The Information and Broadcasting Ministry asked the Union health ministry to keep the notification in abeyance till the time the practical difficulties faced by the film industry are resolved amicably.
The glamorization of smoking in films and television has long been accused of encouraging the youngsters to take up smoking. On the basis of evidence that smoking in movies causes youth to want to light up, the WHO had asked countries to take steps policies to severely restrict such depictions. The WHO recommended that movie studios should refrain from displaying tobacco brands onscreen and all movies that have tobacco imagery should have strong anti-tobacco advertisements before the movie and certify that they received no payoffs from tobacco companies to display tobacco products or their use.
A study conducted by World Health Organization (WHO) and the Ministry of Health had revealed that more than 3/4 of the over 1000 movies made in India had tobacco use shown in them. More than half of children in India, who had their first smoke, were influenced by tobacco use depicted in movies. Tobacco kills more than five million people annually. Statistics have shown that each day nearly 100,000 youngsters take up smoking and movies misleads youth into thinking that tobacco use is normal, acceptable, and indicates of a cool lifestyle. Studies have shown that movies rarely portray the harm of tobacco
Health activists have criticised the move not to have to run a scroll with anti-tobacco messages each time a smoking scene is shown in the Bollywood movies.