A Delhi health official wants government to ban tobacco promotion in the Filmfare Awards

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Cigarette. (File Photo: IANS)

A Delhi health official has written to the Central government to stop the advertisement, promotion and sponsorship of tobacco brands in the 64th Filmfare Awards slated to be held in Mumbai on Saturday.

Delhi government Additional Director (Public Health) and former State Tobacco Control Officer S.K. Arora has also written to the organisers of the Filmfare Awards in this regard.

He said promoting such kinds of brands is a violation of the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce, Production, Supply and Distribution) Act, 2003 (COTPA).

He decided to write the letter as the main sponsor of the awards is a tobacco brand and it is being advertised heavily.

He said promoting such brands should be stopped so that youngsters can be saved from getting influenced and demanded early action on the matter.

This is not the first time Arora has written such a letter.

“We wrote to Bollywood a number of times regarding this. Bollywood stars and films are role models for youngsters. The youngsters follow their (stars) habits and copy it blindly. Bollywood should decide to think on moral grounds and should feel responsible for the people,” he told IANS.

His department has issued notices in the matter earlier to Ajay Devgn, Akshay Kumar and Akshaye Khanna, among others.

Last year, when Arora was the State Tobacco Control Officer, he issued a legal notice to the director, producers and actors of the Bollywood movie “Badhaai Ho” for removal of smoking scenes and tobacco brand promotions from the film.