The digital space has finally caught the eye of the Indian government. Jokes aside, the Indian health ministry has written to TRAI (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India) to issue an advisory to streaming companies like Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hotstar and many others, in compliance with anti-tobacco rules. This letter came after the ministry observed violation of anti-tobacco rules by these companies.
As per the rules, all films and TV programmes, while displaying tobacco products or their use, are required to run anti-tobacco health spots of minimum 30 seconds at the beginning and middle of the programme, the letter further said.
The letter also mentioned that they are also required to submit a strong editorial justification explaining the necessity of display of tobacco products or their usage in the film to the Central Board of Film Certification.
What is interesting is that shows like Narcos (Netflix), Inside Edge (Amazon Prime), and many others have central characters either smoking or doping; will this move snowball into editing out these scenes? Only time will tell.