It is estimated that more than 10,00,000 people die each year due to tobacco use in India
world over 60,00,000 people die annually due to tobacco use
Multi-Sectoral Consultation on Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) and Development”
16 May, 2013, Thursday, 9:30 A.M. - 2:00 P.M.
Raunaq Hall, First Floor, PHD House, 4/2 Siri Institutional Area, August Kranti Marg, New Delhi -110016
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New Delhi, April 22 (IANS) Indian cinema-goers are exposed to 14 billion images of tobacco use in Bollywood films each year, says a study, calling for measures to deal with this exposure. The study, undertaken by Delhi-based NGO HRIDAY in collaboration with Imperial College London, involved content analysis of 44 top grossing Bollywood films screened between 2006 and 2008. The study also found that half of the youth think Bollywood films contain tobacco imagery. Strong evidence exists to support the fact that depiction of tobacco use in films leads to tobacco use, especially among children and adolescents, estimated the study "Tobacco imagery in Bollywood films: 2006-2008" published in the Heart Asia Journal. It said many teenagers light their first cigarette or use their first tobacco product after watching tobacco use onscreen.
"The popularity of Bollywood films and their outreach to a large Indian population, including children and adolescents, does highlight the need to regulate this exposure, to protect the young and vulnerable minds from being influenced by tobacco use shown onscreen," said Monika Arora, one of the co-authors of the study. "Fourteen billion impressions each year is a startling number and this study points towards the need for a dialogue and policy response to address this concern," she added. The World Health Organization recommends that films with tobacco content should be given an adult rating.
Indian government issued a notification in September 2012 which requires films to include warnings about the dangers of tobacco use but provides no guidance on ratings. According to Gaurang Nazar, lead author on the study: "Restriction of youth access to films depicting tobacco imagery by reconsidering the Indian film rating system would complement other tobacco control measures in India." The Global Youth Tobacco Survey (India) conducted in 2009 reveals that nearly 15 percent of youth currently use tobacco in India.
MUMBAI: The film and medical fraternity came together to understand the regulations guiding tobacco depiction in films better. Representatives from the World Health Organisation (WHO), film fraternity and NGO salaam Bombay foundation had an open discussion with the ministry of health and family welfare on Wednesday. Programme director of salaam Bombay foundation Devika Chadha said, "The purpose of the meeting was to understand the international WHO guidelines behind the current rules on depiction of tobacco in media, strengths and weaknesses of the current rules, and to discuss ways to further strengthen their implementation in a mutually beneficial way." She added that the meeting was an ice-breaker between the ministry of health and family welfare and the entertainment industry. "This forum helped them to identify the communication gap and facilitate smooth dialogue between them in the future," she said.
Film director and producer Mahesh Bhatt, producer Ramesh Sippy and Kuldeep Makkar, CEO of film & television producers' guild of India were representing the film fraternity. The representatives of the entertainment industry also expressed their concern about lack of appropriate communication between them and the MoHFW. They want to be a part of the decision-making process and in fact help propagate the message of tobacco-control through their movies.
Dr Monica Arora, director, health related information dissemination amongst youth -student health action network (HRIDAY), shared a study on tobacco use in Bollywood movies, tobacco promotional activities and their association with tobacco use among Indian adolescents, at the meeting. Also present were the tobacco victims representing the voices of tobacco victims (VOTV), who shared their stories about how they were influenced by watching actors smoking in movies.
New Delhi, April 16: Nearly 1,200 students from 27 schools in Delhi assembled for a mock parliament here today, calling for a strong central alcohol control bill. While the issue has always been seen from the revenue standpoint, the perceptive of health has been missing in the excise policies, pointed out health experts gathered on the occasion. Citing urgency for India to put in place a central legislation on controlling alcohol consumption in view of the movies now glorifying alcohol, the experts said this will not only address the problem in cities where an increasing number of youngsters are getting hooked to it but also check the consumption of countrymade liquor.
“Alcohol is surely one of the major risk factors for non-communicable diseases (NCDs) but there are no laws to address the problem. What is more, with restrictions on tobacco use due to the Enforcement of the Cigarette and Other Tobacco products Act, 2003, the current trend is such that movies are aggressively promoting alcohol,” said the senior director of NGO HRIDAY, Dr Monica Arora. While health experts remain divided on the harm due to moderate use of alcohol, the younger lot gathered today unanimously pushed for a bill, having provisions such as comprehensive ban on advertising, promotion and sponsorships, increasing taxation, uniform drinking age limit of 21 years and a minimum 30 days’ closure annually. Currently, every state has an excise policy of its own for regulating the sale and consumption of liquor but what is missing is a uniform legislation keeping in mind the extent of risk it poses to health. Referring to Article 47 of the Indian Constitution which allows the state to ban a product which promotes addiction hampering public health, Dr Arora underscored the need for a strong bill.
There is an overwhelming evidence linking lung cancer to tobacco smoking. Tobacco smoking continues to remain a major risk factor for lung cancer. Among cancers, most deaths every year are attributed to lung cancer, followed by stomach, liver, colon and breast cancers globally. Close to 1.4 million people die every year due to lung cancer. Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warns that tobacco smoking causes about 90% of lung cancers. People who smoke are 15 to 30 times more likely to get lung cancer or die from lung cancer than people who do not smoke. "Tobacco smoking is biggest risk factor for lung cancer" stressed Dr Nguyen Viet Nhung, Deputy Manager of Viet Nam’s National TB Programme and Vice President of Viet Nam Association Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease (VATLD).
Dr Nhung spoke with Citizen News Service - CNS at the 4th Union Asia Pacific Region Conference on Lung Health in Hanoi, Viet Nam (APRC 2013). Dr Nhung who is also the Deputy Director of National Lung Hospital in Viet Nam said that lung cancer ward is always full-to-capacity and overburdened despite all efforts. National Lung Hospital is now using latest techniques such as Fluorescence bronchoscopy to detect lung cancers as early as possible.
JAIPUR: In a step to discourage the sale and consumption of tobacco products, the medical health and family welfare department has directed district collectors to launch a campaign to remove all the advertisement boards which violate the rules pertaining to point of sale of tobacco products. The Union ministry of health underlined four rules for advertisement boards for tobacco products. The first is that the size of the advertisement board should not exceed 60 centimetres by 40 centimetres.
Second, it should carry the warning that tobacco causes cancer or tobacco kills. Third, this health warning must be prominent, legible and in black colour with a white background. The fourth is that the display board shall only list the type of tobacco products available and no brand pack shot, brand name of product or other promotional message and picture shall be displayed on the board. The display board shall not be backlit or illuminated in any manner. A health department official said that in Rajasthan, few advertisement boards have been found to comply with the norms. A Bombay high court had stayed the implementation of rule 4, but in January the Supreme Court vacated the stay order. Principal secretary, health Deepak Upreti has also written to the police and local self governing bodies on April 2 to launch a campaign for removing the advertisement boards violating the rules. However, without any district-level monitoring committees in 21 districts, the campaign's success is doubtful.
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has recommended to the government that a special clause in the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) policy needs to be introduced to check foreign funds clandestinely flowing into the tobacco sector under the guise of brand building and marketing activities. RBI in a letter sent to the finance ministry has highlighted the fact that there is a need to check "circumvention of FDI norms by international tobacco companies and their conduits", sources said.
The central bank has recommended that the government should incorporate a specific clause to plug this loophole. RBI has cited the example of the lottery business, in which the government has banned FDI and also introduced a specific clause pertaining to marketing as well. The FDI notification related to the ban on lotteries states, "Besides foreign investment in any form, foreign technology collaboration in any form, including licensing for franchise, trademark, brand name, management contract, is also completely prohibited for lottery business and gambling and betting activities."
The note further states, "A notification akin to that in the lottery business should be issued in order to prevent such FDI in the guise of current account flow into the tobacco/cigarette industry." According to the new clause, "Foreign fund investment received by an Indian company in any form, including that in the guise of current account transactions for the purpose of creating band awareness, brand building, promotion and management contract, is also completely prohibited for cigars, cheroots, cigarillos and cigarettes of tobacco or of tobacco substitutes etc."
The issue is considered controversial as even the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) has alleged that although the government has prohibited FDI in the tobacco sector since May 2010, multinationals have set up entities in India for wholesale trading. This serves as a platform for creating demand for their brands, which is then met through large-scale contraband/smuggling, according to FICCI. "This adversely impacts domestic farmer income, employment and revenue interests. Hence, the existing ban on manufacturing must be strengthened by extending the ban to cover FDI in manufacture as well as wholesale trade in these products," according to FICCI.
After an anti-tobacco organisation filed a formal complaint against Saif Ali Khan for promoting tobacco in his upcoming film 'Go Goa Gone', the actor has tried to play safe. Saif, who plays mafia lord Boris in the film, is shown smoking a cigar in the promos. And all this added to his problems, for he's been accused of flouting anti-smoking norms.
A complete ban on manufacturing, storage, distribution and sale of gutkha and other tobacco products imposed by the state government in July, last year, has hardly proved to be a deterrent for those involved in the trade.
Despite the Government order requiring all tobacco product packages in the country to carry the new pictorial health warnings from April 1, 2013, a snap survey conducted in the Capital on Monday indicated that “almost no cigarette, bidi packets or any other chewing tobacco products have the new picture warnings”.