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AAP red flags smoking scene in web series

THE ASIAN AGE. | SANJAY KAW
Published : Apr 9, 2019, 1:51 am IST
Updated : Apr 9, 2019, 1:51 am IST

Section 5 of COTPA, 2003, prohibits the advertisement, promotion, and sponsorship of tobacco products.

The additional director of health department said that the children in the age group of 6-10 years have been observed by him using indigenously made hookahs. (Photo: Representational/Pixabay)
 The additional director of health department said that the children in the age group of 6-10 years have been observed by him using indigenously made hookahs. (Photo: Representational/Pixabay)

New Delhi: Giving a stern warning to those promoting smoking, the AAP government has asked the Union health ministry to stop the promotion of smoking and ‘hookah’ in the three web series, ‘Made in Heaven,’ ‘Mirzapur,’ and ‘Four More Shots Please,’ which are being aired on Amazon Prime Video.

The additional director of Delhi health department said that the children in the age group of 6-10 years have been observed by him using indigenously made hookahs.

He said that this was really a very serious situation from the public health point of view and these violations are punishable under Sections 5 and 22 of COTPA (Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act). Dr Arora emphasised that even if these were not covered under COTPA, it’s really high time that the Centre did something immediately before our youths got trapped in the habit of these hazardous products as the viewership of online TV and film shows comprise mostly of youngsters.

“You (Union health ministry) are humbly requested to take necessary action to stop the promotion of smoking/hookah, especially if any TV/film running online is very popular among the youngsters,” he said.

“At present, all cinema houses are bound to show advertisements warning people that smoking causes cancer. It’s precisely why many movies show this advertisement to make people aware of the ill effects of smoking,” he added.

Dr Arora has also written to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and producers of the shows for stopping these violations immediately on legal and moral grounds as well. Mr Bezos’s office has replied that they have received the complaint and will respond shortly, he said.

Section 5 of COTPA, 2003, prohibits the advertisement, promotion, and sponsorship of tobacco products.

This prohibition extends to the depiction of tobacco products or their use in films, television, and web programmes.

According to Dr Arora’s letter, one of the episodes of ‘Made in Heaven’ shockingly promotes the making of hookah at home from plastic bottles.    

He said that these web series are promoting smoking and hookah among youngsters, who may easily get influenced as these serials are being produced and acted by their favourite TV and film personalities.

Tags: aap, web series, smoking scene