Wednesday June 26, 2019

22 percent Indian TV programmes found depicting Tobacco are affecting Children

anti-tobacco messages are effective in countering the imagery of tobacco and prompting decision to quit

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A person smoking cigarette, Pixabay

New Delhi, Feb 10, 2017: Twenty-two per cent of the Indian television programmes have been found depicting tobacco and broadcasting them despite 71 per cent viewers being children and adolescents, a report revealed on Friday.

The report titled ‘Evaluation of Tobacco Free Film and Television Policy in India’ conducted by Vital Strategies and supported by World Health Organization (WHO) noted that the implementation of the rule under the Cigarettes and other Tobacco Products Act was very low.

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The report added that anti-tobacco messages are effective in countering the imagery of tobacco and prompting decision to quit. It also called for better implementation of the act.

The film rule was legislated on October 2, 2012, and mandates that three forms of warning messages (anti-tobacco health spots, audio-visual disclaimers and static health warning messages) are broadcast when tobacco products, branding or use are shown in films and television programmes.

The study was conducted under the guidance of the Union Health Ministry. “An effective way of tobacco control would be to ingrain and indoctrinate the young minds, the children and the youths. If they could be weaned away from tobacco use, we believe that the battle is half won,” said Health Secretary C.K Mishra.

Present on the occasion, Nandita Murukutia, Country Director Vital Strategies, said: “The tobacco industry spends billions of dollars to mislead consumers by depicting tobacco use as glamorous or popular.”

According to Murukutia, when tobacco is depicted in films and TV Programmes, it’s doing the tobacco industry’s work for them. “Tobacco kills one million Indians every year and costs our economy $22.4 billion.

The objective of this study is to understand the importance of ‘film rule’ and the current gap in implementation,” said Murukutia. Murukutia urged the TV and film industry to recognise its responsibilities and work towards a tobacco-free culture. (IANS)

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Small Shops in US Often Sell Tobacco Without Checking Age

More than 64 per cent of grocery stores checked IDs, compared with about 34 per cent of convenience stores and tobacco shops, and 29 per cent bars, restaurants and alcohol stores

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FILE - An anti-tobacco warning is seen on a road divider on the outskirts of New Delhi, India, Nov. 4, 2016. VOA

Those buying tobacco from shops in the US, especially small stores, are usually not asked for identification hence it is easy for underage users to buy cigarettes there, says a study.

When researchers, aged 20 and 21, visited a variety of shops in the US, more than 60 per cent of cashiers did not ask them for identification.

In the study published in the American Journal of Health Promotion, it was found that these young adults slipped by without an age check most often when they visited small stores, tobacco shops and shops plastered with tobacco ads.

“Our findings suggest that certain types of stores – tobacco shops, convenience stores and those with a lot of tobacco advertising – are more likely to sell tobacco to a young person without checking his or her ID,” said Megan Roberts, Assistant Professor at Ohio State University in the US.

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FILE – Cigarette packs are seen on shelves in a tobacco shop in Cagnes-sur-Mer, France. VOA

“One implication of this finding is that enforcement may benefit from targeted outreach and monitoring at these locations,” she added.

The study included visits to a randomly sampled 103 tobacco retailers in 2017.

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More than 64 per cent of grocery stores checked IDs, compared with about 34 per cent of convenience stores and tobacco shops, and 29 per cent bars, restaurants and alcohol stores.

“Having a minimum legal sales age for tobacco is important for reducing youth access to tobacco. Not only does it prevent young people from purchasing tobacco for themselves, but it prevents them from buying tobacco and distributing it to others, often younger peers,” Roberts said. (IANS)