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Union Health Ministry releases OTT guidelines for regulation of online depiction of Tobacco Products in online curated content- (Press Information Bureau) (31 May 2023)

MANU/PIBU/1781/2023

Media and Communication

On World No-Tobacco Day, Union Health Minister, Dr. Mansukh Mandaviya released OTT guidelines for regulation of online depiction of Tobacco Products in online curated content, in the presence of Shri S. Singh Baghel, Minister of State for Health & Family Welfare. Publishers of online curated content that display tobacco products or their use will be required to comply with specific guidelines. The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India organized a hybrid event to observe World No Tobacco Day 2023, here today. The theme of World No Tobacco Day this year is "We Need Food, Not Tobacco."

Addressing the occasion, Dr 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", Dr 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 the people from Tobacco addiction and prevent tobacco use, he highlighted that today's OTT guidelines will go a long way to dissuade tobacco consumption.

Salient features of new rules issued for Anti-Tobacco warnings on OTT platforms by Union Health Ministry: -

1. Health spots, messages, and disclaimers: Publishers of online curated content that display tobacco products or their use will be required to comply with specific guidelines. These include the display of anti-tobacco health spots, lasting a minimum of thirty seconds each at the beginning and middle of the program. Furthermore, publishers must exhibit anti-tobacco health warnings as a prominent static message at the bottom of the screen during the display of tobacco products or their use. Additionally, an audio-visual disclaimer on the ill-effects of tobacco use, lasting a minimum of twenty seconds each, must be shown at the beginning and middle of the program.

2. Access to content: The health spots, messages, and disclaimers will be made available to the publisher of the online curated content on the website "mohfw.gov.in" or "ntcp.mohfw.gov.in."

3. Legibility and language: The 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." Furthermore, the health warning message, health spot, and audio-visual disclaimer should be in the same language as used in the online curated content.

4. Limitations on display: The display of tobacco products or their use in online curated content is prohibited from including the brands of cigarettes or other tobacco products or any form of tobacco product placement. Additionally, the display of tobacco products or their use in promotional materials is strictly prohibited.

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.

At the event, Dr Manuskh Mandaviya, Union Health Minister launched the Dashboard of online reporting of the National Tobacco Control Programme (NTCP) activities, Portal to report Online violations under COTPA, 2003 and prohibition of e-cigarette Act, 2019, Tobacco Free Youth Campaign, a song "Aaj Zindagi Jeete Hai', provision for taking Online "No Tobacco Pledge", through My Gov platform. He also felicitated the Awardees with WHO World No Tobacco Day 2023 Award to State Tobacco Control Cell Meghalaya and Centre for Multi-Disciplinary Development Research (CMDR), Dharwad.

A screening camp was organized by Maulana Azad Institute of Dental Sciences, New Delhi for creating awareness on harmful effects of tobacco use through Oral Health Screening; Oral Cancer Screening using toluidine blue staining; Brief Tobacco Cessation Counseling and Nukkad Natak.

The event was graced by the presence of Shri Rajesh Bhushan, Secretary, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Smt. V. Hekali Zhimomi, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Smt. Suman Nalwa, IPS, Additional Deputy Commissioner, Delhi Police, Dr. Roderico Ofrin, WHO Representative to India and other senior officers of the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare.

Tags : OTT GUIDELINES   RELEASE   TOBACCO PRODUCTS  

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