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Akshay Kumar’s anti-smoking ad of theatres to now be played on OTT platforms too? Here’s what we know

As the health ministry considers enforcing the tobacco warning law on OTT platforms, Akshay Kumar's anti-smoking advertisement may now also be shown at the beginning of web series and films releasing on digital platforms.

Akshay Kumar’s anti-smoking ad of theatres to now be played on OTT platforms too? Here’s what we know
A still of Akshay Kumar from the anti-smoking ad (Source: Youtube)
  • Team OTTplay

Last Updated: 02.19 PM, Jan 16, 2023

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Since more than ten years, all movies with smoking-related sequences are required to include an anti-smoking public service advertisement. A no-smoking ticker must be mentioned during shots of cigarette consumption. As the years went by, the anti-smoking advertisements evolved. Since Independence Day 2018, viewers are required to watch an advertisement starring Akshay Kumar in which he convinces a man named Nandu to give up smoking for the benefit of his and his wife's health. Many people have even questioned the value of these health facilities. However, the authorities have no intention of changing anything about this, and in addition, it is now also played when movies are aired on television.

Additionally, it appears that other health advertisements, including one for Akshay Kumar's Nandu, may now be aired during online series and web shows. According to a January 10, 2023 article in The Times of India, the ministry of health is discussing with the ministry of information and broadcasting and other stakeholders the need to notify streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney+ Hotstar, and others that their shows and content must contain anti-tobacco warning messages and advertisements. According to this story, the conversations are far along.

Sujeet Kumar, an Odisha-based MP and member of the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) party, filed a private member bill in the Rajya Sabha in August 2022 to reduce the negative effects of tobacco use. He brought up the "unregulated and unrestrained" promotion of tobacco and cigarette goods on OTT platforms in December 2022. He argued that these platforms have become a haven for the advertisement of cigarettes and tobacco products due to a lack of regulation. He also stated that tobacco usage is responsible for 40% of non-communicable diseases, such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, lung disorders, etc. 

Sujeet Kumar also revealed that a study found that young individuals between the ages of 15 and 34 watch content on OTT for an average of 70 minutes each day.

According to the regulations in place since 2012, every movie screened in theatres or on TV must display a static anti-smoking message at the bottom of the screen whenever tobacco products are displayed or are used in the movie. The anti-tobacco public service announcements that are required to play at the start and midpoint of the movie should last a minimum of 30 seconds each.

Akshay Kumar's anti-smoking advertisement is played at the start of Hindi movies.

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