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WHO lauds India for regulating anti-tobacco warning on OTT

Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh, Regional Director, World Health Organisation South-East Asia Region congratulated India on becoming the first country in the world to regulate anti-tobacco warnings on OTT platforms and commended the country’s strong leadership for this landmark step.

In a message, Dr Poonam said, “Congratulations India on becoming the first country in the world to regulate anti-tobacco warning on OTT platforms. Today’s move demonstrates India’s unstinted commitment to protect health of people from the harmful effects of tobacco. I commend the country’s strong leadership and all stakeholders for this landmark step.”

On World No Tobacco Day on May 31, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya released OTT guidelines for the regulation of online depiction of tobacco products in online curated content.

As per the guidelines issued by the health ministry, publishers of online curated content that display tobacco products or their use will be required to comply with specific guidelines.

“Anti-tobacco health warning message displayed as a static message must be legible and readable, with black font on a white background, and must include the warnings “Tobacco causes cancer” or “Tobacco kills”,” stated the guidelines.

Addressing the occasion today, Mansukh Mandaviya showed concern over rising tobacco consumption among the young generation, which is the future of our nation.

The Union Health Minister appealed to people to break free from the shackles of tobacco and embrace a healthier lifestyle.

“It is time to create wide awareness among youth and the nation regarding the seriously debilitating and harmful effects of tobacco consumption”, Mandaviya stated.

He mooted the idea to start a Lok Bhagidari campaign in mission mode through Jan Abhiyaan. “Enlisting the measures taken by India to free people from Tobacco addiction and prevent tobacco use, he highlighted that today’s OTT guidelines will go a long way to dissuade tobacco consumption,” a release said.

The ministry informed that the failure to comply with the provisions outlined 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 either suo moto or on receiving a complaint. The committee will identify the publisher of the online curated content, issue a notice providing a reasonable opportunity to explain the failure and require appropriate modifications to the content. ANI

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