The Union Health, Information & Broadcasting have finalised the final provisions on the portrayal of smoking in films and TV programmes. These will come into effect from October 2, 2012.
The most important aspect is that now directors and producers of all new films will have to show “strong editorial justification” to Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) for using smoking scenes in movies and TV programmes before it is cleared for public viewing.
A 30-second anti-tobacco health spot has to be mandatorily played before and in the middle of the film, if it shows a smoking scene in both the old and new films.
In addition, a 20-second audio visual disclaimer prepared by the Union health ministry will also have to be shown by the movie theatre owners at the beginning and in the middle of the screening.
In all new films, a static anti-tobacco message will also have to flash during a smoking scene.
The Law ministry approved these proposals and cleared them for a final notification. The Supreme Court will be informed of these provisions on Thursday by the health ministry where a case filed by filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt is pending.
These anti-tobacco norms have been prompted by a study conducted by World Health Organization (WHO) and health ministry which revealed that 76% of Indian movies had tobacco use shown in them, and 52.2% of children in India, who had their first smoke were influenced by tobacco use depicted in films.