Saif Ali Khan has shot a special
video to spread awareness about ills of tobacco that will play
in the beginning of his upcoming movie Go Goa Gone where he
is seen as a cigar smoking zombie killer.
Saif, who plays the role of a Russian mafia lord 'Boris' in the new comedy, shot the video after signing up for the part. The video, featuring the star, is aimed at youth and will play before the beginning of the film.
"I think smoking is a form of drug abuse. I do not believe in censorship, as in blanket banning. An appropriate age certificate must be set and then enforced. That is what the censor board is for.
"However, I understand with this freedom comes a social responsibility and I would like to warn the youth that smoking is a very dangerous habit," Saif said in a statement.
Earlier, health ministry had issued an order banning smoking scenes on screen, demanding that cigarette products be blurred or edited and such scenes be accompanied by a disclaimer.
Saif, who used to be a regular-smoker five years ago, quit smoking following a health scare in 2007.
"It may seem cool now but there is nothing cool about lung or heart disease. I quit smoking after almost suffering a heart attack five years ago. Purely bought on by my smoking... clearly it is not worth it!," the actor said.
Go Goa Gone producer and Saif's partner Dinesh Vijan said Saif was initially reluctant to play a smoker onscreen.
"Saif plays a Russian Mafia Lord in Go Goa Gone and because of the demand of the character he smokes a cigar in the film. Off screen, Saif doesn't smoke and condemns the use of tobacco.
"In fact, on his insistence we had shot a personalised anti-tobacco video a while back, where he says that the use of Tobacco in any form is injurious to health. The video will play before the film begins," Vijan said.
The comedy film is directed by Raj Nidimoru and Krishna DK. It will release on May 10. The film also stars actors Kunal Khemu, Vir Das, Anand Tiwary and Puja Gupta.
Saif, who is also the producer of Go Goa Gone was criticised for smoking cigar on the movie poster by anti-tobacco organisation National Organisation for Tobacco Eradication.