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On World No Tobacco Day Government Issues Anti-Tobacco Rules For OTT Platforms The notification stated that publishers of online curated content displaying tobacco products, or their use will be required to display anti-tobacco health spots each of a minimum of 30 seconds at the beginning and middle of the programme

By Teena Jose

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The Union Health Ministry, on World No Tobacco Day, has made it mandatory for OTT platforms tobacco-based statutory health warnings before and during the content streaming. The government's notification comes under Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act, 2004.

The notification stated that publishers of online curated content displaying tobacco products or their use will be required to display anti-tobacco health spots each of a minimum of 30 seconds at the beginning and middle of the programme.

They shall also be required to exhibit an anti-tobacco health warning as a prominent static message at the bottom of the screen when tobacco products or their use are displayed during the programme. Also, an audio-visual disclaimer of a minimum of 20 seconds on the ill-effects of tobacco use will have to be also displayed at the beginning and middle of the programme.

Further it notified, "The anti-tobacco health warning message as specified in clause(b) of sub-rule (1) shall be legible and readable, with font in black colour on white background and with the warnings 'Tobacco causes cancer' or 'Tobacco kills'."

Union Health Secretary Rjesh Bhushan at an No Tobacco event, reportedly said that, "We already have guidelines on restrictions on depiction of tobacco products in TV and films and now we have it for OTT platforms as well. Efforts such as these are important as nearly 13.5 lakh deaths every year in the country can be linked in some way to tobacco consumption."

The Health Ministry notification also cautions against product or brand placement of tobacco products in the content or displaying use of tobacco products in promotional material. It is also informed that the rules will come into force three months from the date of their publication in the Official Gazette.

Teena Jose

News Desk Reporter with Entrepreneur India

Teena is a post graduate in financial journalism. She has an avid interest in content creation, digital media and fashion.
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