Top Scoops

Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | Scoop News | Wellington Scoop | Community Scoop | Search


Stars to not endorse tobacco, junk foods & alcohol

Film Stars to not endorse tobacco, junk foods and alcohol on-screen

by Bobby Ramakant

Portrayal of tobacco use in Indian cinema has been on the rise. Despite of The cigarette and other tobacco products Act (2003), repeated requests and appeals by health activists and India's Union Health and Family Welfare Minister Dr Anbumani Ramadoss to film stars to desist from smoking on screen and also from brand placement, the incidence of tobacco use in films is only rising.

Dr Ramadoss again appealed to the film-stars to be socially responsible and not smoke on-screen in the larger interest of the youth of the nation. He made a "passionate request" to film stars and other celebrities to stop endorsing cigarettes and other tobacco products on-screen.

"Eighty percent of movies have smoking scenes and studies show that majority of the youngsters take up smoking under the influence of celebrities," said Dr Ramadoss.

Just last week, the legal proceeding against Amitabh Bachchan, was quashed by a session's court in Goa. Indian film superstar Amitabh Bachchan had smoked a cigar in FAMILY film and the posters of which were splashed all across India. NOTE India, a Goa based NGO and Indian Society Against Smoking, a Lucknow based voluntary group had issued legal notices to Amitabh Bachchan then, and NOTE India had taken Amitabh to court. But court quashed the legal proceedings against the Bollywood film icon Amitabh.

Filmstars should also desist from endorsing junk food and alcohol, added Dr Ramadoss.

He agreed that although India had one of the best tobacco control laws but the problem lies with the implementation. The implementation agencies in India are themselves deep rooted in tobacco addiction. For example the level of tobacco consumption in healthcare workers is alarmingly high in India, and so is for police and judiciary. Moreover the facilities for tobacco cessation are too few, and the success-rate of tobacco quitting at these expert centres is not very encouraging broadly speaking. World Health Organization (WHO) has been supporting a nation-wide network of tobacco cessation clinics (TCC) but the number of such TCC is very limited considering the number of people who use tobacco and may eventually need tobacco cessation services.
"We will try and bring in school teachers, NCC cadets and various NGOs as legal enforcers," Ramadoss said. "We are planning to introduce tobacco control at the school level also", he added.

Apart from this, the ministry would launch a host of commercial spots and advertisements in print as well as the electronic media, he said.

But is this enough? Is it going to be effective in controlling tobacco use in India? Will it desist youth to take up the deadly addiction? Most importantly, is it going to hold tobacco corporations accountable and put a check on misleading, surreptitious and deceitful tobacco promotions they unabashedly indulge in?


Bobby Ramakant
(The author is a senior journalist and a member of Network for Accountability of Tobacco Transnationals (NATT). He can be contacted at:

© Scoop Media

Top Scoops Headlines


Analysis: Dotcom Appeal For Surveillance Data Dismissed

Kim Dotcom’s Appeal against the decision allowing the GSCB to withold information as to communications illegally intercepted by them has been dismissed by the Court of Appeal of New Zealand. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On China’s Bad Week

Even before the local body election results came in from Hong Kong, China had been having a p.r. nightmare this week. First, the ICIJ released a trove of leaked cables about the mass concentration camp system that China has built to control and to “re-educate” over a million people from its Uighur minority... More>>

Julie Webb-Pullman: Jacinda, THAT Tweet, And Gaza

The MFAT tweet condemning rocket fire from Gaza while failing to condemn the Israeli extrajudicial assassinations and civilian killings that generated Islamic Jihad’s rocket-fire in defensive response, reveals the hypocrisy at the heart of New Zealand’s so-called “even-handed” foreign policy and practice towards Palestine. More>>

Hope For Nature: A New Deal For The Commons

Joseph Cederwall on The Dig: To fully understand the biodiversity crisis and explore what comes next, it is necessary to address this mind-virus at the heart of our modern civilisation – the dominion worldview. More>>



  • PublicAddress
  • Pundit
  • Kiwiblog