The Union Health Ministry in India has made it compulsory for online streaming platforms to show anti-tobacco warnings. This is to align their content with the rules under the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act, 2004. The notifications require publishers to show anti-tobacco health spots of at least 30 seconds at the beginning and middle of the programme. The move comes on World No Tobacco Day, an annual event that promotes the use of tobacco cessation products and discourages tobacco use.
The aim of the notification is to create awareness about the harmful effects of tobacco and discourage tobacco use among the viewers. The Ministry hopes that these warnings will make people aware of the risks associated with tobacco use and help reduce its consumption. The notification will apply to all curated content on OTT platforms that display tobacco products or their use.
This move by the Indian government is a part of a larger effort to reduce tobacco consumption in India. Tobacco use is a major public health issue in India, with more than one million deaths every year due to tobacco-related illnesses. According to the World Health Organization, tobacco consumption is responsible for 27% of cancer deaths in India.
The notification is expected to have a significant impact on online streaming platforms like Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Disney+ Hotstar. These platforms are popular among young audiences, who are particularly vulnerable to tobacco addiction. The notification is a significant step towards promoting a healthy lifestyle and reducing the prevalence of tobacco use in India.