India has emerged as a global leader in promoting awareness about the lethal consequences of tobacco consumption by implementing regulations that require anti-tobacco warnings on OTT platforms. The Union Health Ministry recently issued new rules stating that strict action will be taken against online content publishers who fail to comply with these guidelines.
The notification, released on the occasion of ‘World No Tobacco Day’ observed on May 31st, mandates OTT platforms to display anti-tobacco warning messages similar to those seen in theatres and television programs. This step is crucial in reaching a wider audience and spreading awareness about the hazards of tobacco use.
According to the Ministry’s notification, if the publisher of online curated content fails to adhere to the specified provisions, an interministerial committee comprising representatives from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, and Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology will take necessary action. The committee will identify the publisher, issue a notice to explain the failure and provide an opportunity for appropriate modifications to be made.
Tobacco addiction is recognized as the leading cause of preventable death and disability worldwide. Each year, millions of individuals lose their lives due to tobacco use. India’s proactive approach to regulating anti-tobacco warnings on OTT platforms underscores its commitment to combating this grave public health issue and serves as an inspiration to countries worldwide.