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Union Health Ministry notifies new rules for anti-tobacco warnings on OTT platforms

The Union Health Ministry has issued new guidelines for OTT platforms regarding anti-tobacco warnings. According to the notification, it is now mandatory for OTT platforms to display anti-tobacco warning messages. The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare stated that strict action will be taken by both the Union Health Ministry and the Ministry of Information […]

The Union Health Ministry has issued new guidelines for OTT platforms regarding anti-tobacco warnings. According to the notification, it is now mandatory for OTT platforms to display anti-tobacco warning messages. The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare stated that strict action will be taken by both the Union Health Ministry and the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting if online content publishers fail to comply with the new rules. This notification aligns OTT platforms with theatres and TV programs, where we commonly see anti-tobacco warning messages. The announcement coincides with the observance of ‘World No Tobacco Day’ on May 31.

“If the publisher of online curated content fails to comply with the provisions of sub-rules an interministerial committee consisting of representatives from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting and Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, shall take action suo motu or on a complaint, and after identifying the publisher of online curated content, issue notice giving reasonable opportunity to explain such failure and make appropriate modification in the content,” the notification said.

Tobacco addiction has been acknowledged as the leading cause of preventable death and disability on a global scale. It results in millions of deaths annually worldwide. Binoy Mathew, the program manager at the Voluntary Health Association of India, expressed his approval of India’s groundbreaking step in regulating tobacco promotion through the entertainment medium, stating that it would establish India as a world leader in this area. India bears a significant burden of tobacco-related mortality, accounting for approximately 1.35 million deaths each year. Moreover, it holds the distinction of being the second-largest consumer and producer of tobacco. Globally, tobacco use claims the lives of around 8 million people every year, with 1.35 million of those deaths occurring in India.

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advisoryanti tabaccohealth ministrynotificationOTT platformsTV