OTT platforms flouting India tobacco regulations

Chandigarh, September 11, 2020: Public and Consumer awareness groups have raised their concernr to safeguard children and youth from the detrimental tobacco advertisements on different over the counter (OTT) platforms wherein they have urged the Govt of India to act against tobacco advertising and the glamorization of tobacco use on such platforms.
According to a spokesperson, “Due to COVID-19, people especially children and youth, are spending more time on OTT platforms due to restrictions on movie halls. They are getting influenced by tobacco consumption shown in movies, series and short films streamed on OTT platforms. This is of particular concern because on-demand streaming platforms are becoming increasingly popular in India, especially with young viewers.”
A 2019 study by KPMG reported that there were 325 million viewers of on-demand streaming platforms in India and that young people (age 15-24) spent an average of 70 minutes per day watching online video content.
The study evaluated tobacco depiction in ten television series available via on-demand streaming platforms including Netflix, Hulu, Hotstar, Amazon Prime among others.
Many of the series showed tobacco brands as well as close-ups of tobacco products and tobacco usage.
Section 5 of India’s Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act (COTPA) imposes a complete ban on tobacco advertising and promotion in any form of media.
Therefore, it is quite evident that Section 5 of COTPA is blatantly being violated by these OTT platforms.
Furthermore, as per the National Cancer Registry Programme Report 2020, released by The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and the National Centre for Disease Informatics & Research (NCDIR), Bengaluru, in 2020 cancer cases in the country will be at 13.9 lakh and likely to increase to 15.7 lakhs by 2025, based on current trends.
In 2020, tobacco-related cancers are estimated to contribute 3.7 lakhs (27.1 per cent) of the total cancer burden.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

United Newspapers, 3727, Sector 46 c, Chandigarh 160047.


Mobile: 9815047017