After months of debate and indecision, the Health and the Information and
Broadcasting Ministries seemed to have decided that smoking in movies is
definitely bad for India and have proposed a series of measures.
Studies have shown that Bollywood movies depicting heroes smoking and drinking
as being cool have influenced behavior in India. A World Health Organization
(WHO) study has shown that the Hindi film industry’s support for smoking
tobacco usage has increased. It said that 89% of films showed prominent
characters smoking and shockingly 27% mocked health warnings about cigarettes.
Another disturbing trend of this report is how children are influenced by
surrogate advertisements and glorification of smoking in movies to pick up a
habit that will have a debilitating
effect on their health.
Another study found that the major reasons for a high incidence of heart
disease in rural India to be a combination of lifestyle issues such as smoking
and wrong diet consisting of high salt, oil, sugar, and
low fiber foods.
In the proposed measures, movies that depict smoking will:
Automatically get an ‘A’ certificate,
Require the actor to provide a personal disclaimer, before, during, and at the
end of the movie that smoking is bad for health
Scenes that depict historical characters should have scrolling lines that
should be visible during and 1 minute after the movie that smoking is bad for