Health Ministry asks OTTs to post anti-tobacco warnings

Tags: National National News

Health-Ministry-asks-OTTs-to-post-anti-tobacco-warningsThe Union Health Ministry has made it mandatory for OTT platforms to display anti-tobacco warnings as seen in cinema halls and television programmes.

An Overview of the News

  • The amendment to the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act, 2004 requires online platforms to show at least 30 seconds of anti-tobacco health spots at the beginning and middle of their programmes.

  • A prominent static message stating "Tobacco causes cancer" or "Tobacco kills" must be displayed at the bottom of the screen when displaying tobacco products or their use.

  • Warning messages should be legible with black font on a white background and health warnings, spots and disclaimers should be in the language of the material.

  • Display of tobacco brands, product placement and use of tobacco in promotional material is prohibited.

  • India has implemented measures to reduce tobacco use including 85% pictorial warnings on cigarette packets since 2018.

  • India's data from the Global Youth Tobacco Survey shows that tobacco use has declined by 42% among school-going children aged 13-15 over the past decade.

  • The decision was taken by the Health Ministry after consultations with the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (I&B) and other stakeholders.

Tobacco Effects:

  • More than 7 million deaths are caused by direct tobacco use, while 1.2 million deaths are due to secondhand smoke exposure.

  • More than 80% of the world's 1.3 billion tobacco users live in low- and middle-income countries.

  • In 2020, 22.3% of the global population used tobacco (36.7% men, 7.8% women).

WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC):

  • Adopted by WHO member states in 2003, it is currently ratified by 182 countries.

  • It aims to address the tobacco epidemic and its harmful effects.

New and Emerging Nicotine and Tobacco Products:

  • Heated Tobacco Products (HTPs): Toxicity similar to other tobacco products, proved no less harmful.

  • Electronic-cigarettes: injurious to health, especially risky for young people and pregnant women.

WHO response:

  • MPOWER measures were launched in 2007 for effective tobacco control implementation.

  • MPOWER measures include monitoring, protection, termination support, warnings, advertising restrictions, and taxes.

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