OTT platforms are in gross violation of tobacco disclaimer pointers, say well being specialists

Written by Ralph Alex Arakal
| Bengaluru |

September 10, 2020 5:06:38 pm

The examine assessed tobacco depictions in ten tv collection out there on OTT platforms resembling Netflix, Hulu, Hotstar, Amazon Prime, and others.

As over-the-top (OTT) platforms attain extra reputation with cinema theatres remaining shut attributable to Covid-19 pandemic, public well being specialists have raised an alarm over the absence of audio-visual disclaimers for tobacco imagery utilized in movies, net collection, and different content material aired on-line.

Urging the central authorities to behave towards tobacco promoting and glamorisation of tobacco use, specialists have written to the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology citing outcomes of a current examine revealed within the British Medical Journal (BMJ).

Dr Muralidhar M Kulkarni, Associate Professor at Department of Community Medicine, Kasturba Medical College, Manipal, mentioned that such imagery quantities to violations of part 5 of the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act (COTPA), 2003. “The examine titled ‘Tobacco imagery in on-demand streaming content material common amongst adolescents and younger adults in India: Implications for world tobacco management’ has revealed rampant depiction of tobacco use and tobacco model placement even in content material rated for viewers beneath 18 years, focusing on youth and kids. None of the collection included anti-tobacco static warning messages, anti-tobacco well being spots, or audiovisual disclaimers in regards to the sick results of tobacco use,” he alleged.

The examine assessed tobacco depictions in ten tv collection out there on OTT platforms resembling Netflix, Hulu, Hotstar, Amazon Prime, and others. “Even because the examine is restricted to 10 tv collection, it supplies conclusive proof that streaming companies disregard India’s excessive requirements for proscribing and containing tobacco depictions within the media,” Muralidhar mentioned.

Meanwhile, the National Cancer Registry Programme Report, 2020, launched not too long ago by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and National Centre for Disease Informatics and Research (NCDIR) in Bengaluru, most cancers circumstances within the nation are anticipated to be at 13.9 lakh and is more likely to go as much as 15.7 lakhs by 2025. In 2020, tobacco-related cancers are estimated to contribute 3.7 lakhs (27.1 per cent) to the entire most cancers circumstances within the nation.

Linking this to the India Global Youth Tobacco Survey (GYTS) — performed amongst college students in lessons eight to 10 — Dr Prathima Murthy, professor on the Department of Psychiatry within the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS) mentioned on-line streaming platforms have turn out to be a haven for promotion of tobacco use.

Adding {that a} whopping 14.6 per cent of scholars aged 13-15 in India use tobacco as indicated in GYTS, she mentioned, “We urge union authorities to take vital motion to make sure these OTT platforms adjust to COTPA and different relevant legal guidelines with a view to shield youngsters from publicity to tobacco merchandise.”

Recently, Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney Hotstar, and 12 different on-line video-streaming platforms and curated content material suppliers signed a self-regulation code, permitting shoppers to report coverage violations on their content material.

The newest Universal Self-Regulation Code launched by the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) per week again features a framework for age-classification and content material descriptions and parental controls together with a grievance-redressal system.

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