Anti-tobacco warnings on OTT platforms a must: Health ministry’s new rules


New Delhi: The Union Health Ministry on Wednesday mandated anti-tobacco warnings for OTT platforms. The ministry’s notification laid down new rules for anti-tobacco warnings for publishers and a failure to comply with new rules will lead to strict action against them.

OTT platforms are now required to display anti-tobacco warnings and disclaimers similar to the ones we see in movies screened in theatres and in television programmes.

The OTT platform 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, PTI had reported while the ministry was mulling the decision.

In the wake of the growing popularity of OTT platforms, which play a crucial role in influencing the mind, especially that of a minor, the amended rules calling for a disclaimer may help fight the vice.

The morbidity and mortality due to tobacco use are well established. The government enacted Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce, Production, Supply and Distribution) Rules, 2004, (COTPA) to discourage tobacco use by eliminating all direct and indirect advertisements of tobacco, an official told PTI.

India will become a global leader in tobacco regulation by implementing the regulation on OTT, they further said.


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