The Tamil Nadu government on Monday released new regulations regarding online gaming.
The Union Health Ministry has released guidelines for the regulation of online depiction of tobacco products in online curated content. Union Health and Family Welfare Minister Mansukh Mandaviya on Wednesday released the guidelines in the presence of S Singh Baghel, Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare.
The publishers of online curated content that display tobacco products or their use will be required to comply with specific guidelines. The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare organised a hybrid event to observe World No Tobacco Day 2023. The theme of World No Tobacco Day this year is ‘We Need Food, Not Tobacco.’
Addressing the event, Mandaviya showed concern over rising tobacco consumption among the young generation, which is the future of our nation. The Union Health Minister appealed to people to break free from the shackles of tobacco and embrace a healthier lifestyle.
“It is time to create wide awareness among youth and the nation regarding the seriously debilitating and harmful effects of tobacco consumption,” Mandaviya stated.
The Union Health and Family Welfare Minister mooted the idea to start a Lok Bhagidari campaign in mission mode through Jan Abhiyaan. Enlisting the measures taken by India to free the people from tobacco addiction and prevent tobacco use, he highlighted that today’s OTT guidelines will go a long way to dissuade tobacco consumption.
As per salient features of new rules issued for anti-tobacco warnings on OTT platforms by the Union Health Ministry, publishers of online curated content that display tobacco products or their use will be required to comply with specific guidelines. These include the display of anti-tobacco health spots, lasting a minimum of thirty seconds each at the beginning and middle of the programme.
Furthermore, publishers must exhibit anti-tobacco health warnings as a prominent static message at the bottom of the screen during the display of tobacco products or their use. Additionally, an audio-visual disclaimer on the ill-effects of tobacco use, lasting a minimum of twenty seconds each, must be shown at the beginning and middle of the program.
The health spots, messages, and disclaimers will be made available to the publisher of the online curated content on the website “mohfw.gov.in” or “ntcp.mohfw.gov.in.”
The anti-tobacco health warning message displayed as a static message must be legible and readable, with black font on a white background, and must include the warnings “Tobacco causes cancer” or “Tobacco kills.” Furthermore, the health warning message, health spot, and audio-visual disclaimer should be in the same language as used in the online curated content.
The display of tobacco products or their use in online curated content is prohibited from including the brands of cigarettes or other tobacco products or any form of tobacco product placement. Additionally, the display of tobacco products or their use in promotional materials is strictly prohibited.
The failure to comply with the provisions outlined may result in action taken by an inter-ministerial committee comprising representatives from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, and Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology either suo moto, or on receiving a complaint.
The committee will identify the publisher of the online curated content, issue a notice providing a reasonable opportunity to explain the failure, and require appropriate modifications to the content.