Moviemakers will have to Prove Smoking Scenes
Movie actors can smoke on screen but this will cause some problems to them. They will have to say a 30-second-long dialogue about the hazards of smoking before the film ends.
This is one of the regulations in the amended law that controls advertising and promotion of smoking products and their depiction on the screen. After Bollywood’s insistent pleas about creative license, seem to have moved away from a complete ban on smoking and instead preferred a deterrent. For example a U/A certification is one more price to pay for showing a smoking scene. The rules state theatre owners should remove scenes in old movies and shows, so if one were to watch for instance Casablanca in a theatre, Humphrey Bogart with a cigarette in his hand would be made hazy. The same would Dev Anand in Jewel Thief. “The second correction to the Act was released in the Gazette of India in October. The new regulations will come into effect on November and will cover both the film and TV industry,” declared a Union health ministry official.
The regulations are accurate – a federal health officer will sit on a Censor Board screenings to assure that the rules are not infringed and a graphic warning scroll moves across the screen when an actor smokes. Graphic warnings of not less than 20 seconds should be shown twice - before and during the film or TV show. Also, it would be considered an outrage the use of pictures depicting actors lighting up in promotional material.
The amendment also states that filmmakers should prove to the Censor Board the need for smoking scenes and guarantee that no cigarette-related scenes are used in promos. “We admit that the film may need a smoking scene for a particular reason, but thus it would be outside the context demonstrating an actor lighting up on the promotional posters,” stated the health ministry official.
The new regulations come after five years when the then Union health minister Anbumani Ramadoss had proposed a full ban on on-screen smoking along with a ban on tobacco consumption at public places.
Health activists are not glad. “From a health care service perspective, a full ban would have been better. But the fact that an actor will have to present a rejection is rather positive,” stated Delhi-based Monika Arora of the Public Health Forum of India. “The new regulations advertise a more integral approach rather than moral policing one, Cancer surgeon Pankaj Chaturvedi from Tata Memorial Hospital stated in the telephone conference.
By Steve Shepherd, Staff Writer. Copyright © 2011 Cigarette-Store.org. All rights reserved.