Union Health Ministry Releases OTT Guidelines for Regulation of Tobacco Products in Online Content on World No-Tobacco Day
On World No-Tobacco Day, the Union Health Ministry of India released guidelines for the regulation of the online depiction of tobacco products in online curated content. The guidelines aim to curb the rising tobacco consumption among the young generation and promote healthier lifestyles. Publishers of online curated content will be required to comply with specific guidelines to display tobacco products.
Guidelines aim to curb tobacco consumption among youth and promote healthier lifestyles
Addressing the occasion, Union Health Minister Dr Mansukh Mandaviya expressed concern over the increasing tobacco consumption among the youth, who are the future of the nation. He appealed to people to break free from the shackles of tobacco and embrace a healthier lifestyle. Dr Mandaviya emphasized the need for creating awareness among the youth and the nation regarding the harmful effects of tobacco consumption. He proposed the idea of starting a Lok Bhagidari campaign through Jan Abhiyaan to raise awareness about the ill-effects of tobacco.
The new guidelines issued by the Union Health Ministry include the display of anti-tobacco health spots, messages, and disclaimers in online curated content. Publishers must feature anti-tobacco health spots lasting a minimum of thirty seconds each at the beginning and middle of the program. Additionally, a prominent static message displaying anti-tobacco health warnings must be shown at the bottom of the screen during the display of tobacco products. An audio-visual disclaimer on the ill-effects of tobacco use should also be included at the beginning and middle of the program.
Publishers of online curated content required to comply with specific guidelines to display tobacco products
The guidelines emphasize legibility and readability of the health warning messages, with black font on a white background. The warnings “Tobacco causes cancer” or “Tobacco kills” must be prominently displayed. Furthermore, the health warning messages, health spots, and audio-visual disclaimers should be in the same language as used in the online curated content.
The guidelines prohibit the display of tobacco brands, any form of tobacco product placement, and the use of tobacco products in promotional materials. Failure to comply with the guidelines may result in action taken by an inter-ministerial committee comprising representatives from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, and Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology.
The release of these guidelines on World No-Tobacco Day is a significant step towards reducing tobacco consumption and promoting a healthier society.