OTT Shows Must Carry Anti-Tobacco Warnings: What's Health Ministry's New Rule?

The Union Health Ministry has made it mandatory for OTT platforms to display anti-tobacco warnings as of Wednesday

1 min read

The Union Health Ministry announced new rules pertaining to anti-tobacco warning on OTT media platforms on Wednesday, 31 May.

According to the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce, Production, Supply and Distribution) Amendment Rules 2023, it is now mandatory for OTT platforms to show anti-tobacco warnings, such as those seen in theatres or television programs.

These warnings shall be expressed through three different manners as stated by the health ministry, including audio-visual disclaimers, health spots, and prominent static messages.

The newly formed rules will be put into force three months from now.


What Warnings Should the Shows Have?

Any publisher of online curated content showing tobacco products or their uses must show:

  • Anti-tobacco health spots lasting a minimum of thirty seconds at the beginning and middle of each programme.

  • A prominent-static message displaying a health warning at the bottom of the screen during the period of tobacco use in the programme.

  •  An audio-visual disclaimer regarding the ill-effects of tobacco use lasting a minimum of 20 seconds in the beginning at the middle of the programme.

The notification also mentioned that the health warning message, health spot, and audio-visual disclaimer should be in the same language that was used in the online curated content.

Any failure to comply by these rules will result in action taken by representatives of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, and Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology.  

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