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Anti-Smoking Messages on Screen Disturb Viewing, Says Shyam Benegal Panel

"The static warnings that appear during every smoking scene apart from the disclaimers and anti-tobacco health spots being shown mandatorily in the beginning and interval of every film, disturbs the smooth viewing of the film," the panel said in its report

  | August 01, 2016 23:04 IST (New Delhi)
Shyam Benegal Panel

Shyam Benegal photographed in Mumbai.

Highlights

  • The panel also suggested that short films on anti-smoking should be made
  • These may replace the present anti-smoking clips shown in theatres
  • It also said that warnings should be made in all Indian languages
The Shyam Benegal-led committee constituted by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting to examine the film certification process has said that static warnings that appear during every smoking scene in movies disturb audiences' viewing experience.

The panel has suggested that a "meaningful static disclaimer" against smoking should be shown at the beginning of films with a standard visual background approved by the Health Ministry for a "minimum" time along with a matching audio.

In the second part of its report, the panel has said that warnings should be made in all Indian languages and made applicable to all media platforms.

As an option, producers of such films can make a short visual conveying an anti-smoking message by the same actor who is shown smoking in the film, the panel has suggested.

The committee has also suggested that the film industry should produce short films on anti-smoking with popular actors on their own for screening in cinemas and TV Channels.

These may replace the present anti-smoking clips shown in theatres and on TV after obtaining clearance from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, the panel has said.

Under the present norms, filmmakers have to carry anti-tobacco warning as a prominent static message at the bottom of the screen during the period of display of a smoking scene.

"The static warnings that appear during every smoking scene apart from the disclaimers and anti-tobacco health spots being shown mandatorily in the beginning and interval of every film, disturbs the smooth viewing of the film," the panel said in its report.

In present times, depiction of smoking has become less fashionable due to awareness generated about its harmful impact through various programmes and regulations as well, the panel said.
 

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

 
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