Press Information Bureau
Government of India
Ministry of Health and Family Welfare
30-September-2013 15:02 IST
‘Child’ and ‘Dhuan’: Ministry of Health and Family Welfare to release new Anti-Tobacco health spots for “Tobacco-Free Film Rules” under COTPA


As per the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce, Production, Supply and Distribution) Act (COTPA) rules, the anti-tobacco health spots and disclaimers are being provided by Ministry of Health & Family Welfare. With effect from 2nd October 2012, two spots ‘Mukesh’ and ‘Sponge’ depicting harmful effect of usage of smokeless and smoking forms of tobacco, were used. The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare is replacing these spots with two new spots titled ‘Child’ and ‘Dhuan’ to be effective from 2nd October 2013. These spots have been dubbed in 16 Indian languages for a pan India coverage.


Since 2nd October also marks the completion of five years of implementation of smoke-free laws in India, the launch of the these two spots, ‘Child’ and ‘Dhuan’  will reinforce the Government’s emphasis on the issue of secondhand smoke and implementation of smoke-free policies in India.


 ‘Child’ and ‘Dhuan’  have been developed to warn about the health costs of smoking and second hand smoke and of the penalties to be faced by violating the smoke free law.  ‘Child’ focuses on the health risks of smoking and secondhand smoke, while ‘Dhuan’ especially models the behavior expected of business managers, advocates, enforcement officials, smokers and non-smokers. The spots have been developed by World Lung Foundation (WLF). 


Tobacco use is an emerging health hazard and is the leading cause of death and disease in the world today, which is entirely preventable. Globally approximately 6 million people die each year as result of diseases caused by tobacco consumption. If urgent action is not taken, the death toll could rise to more than eight million by 2030. It is estimated that nearly 8-9 lakh people die every year due to diseases related to tobacco use in India with 5500 youth starting tobacco use every day.[1] About 50% of all cancers in males and 25% of all cancers in females can be attributed to tobacco use. It is estimated that about 90% of all the oral cancers are caused due to smokeless tobacco use.


Tobacco affects not just consumers, but also has health implications for non-smokers exposed to second-hand smoke as well as workers involved in cultivation and processing of tobacco products.[2][3]As per the Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS-India) 2010, conducted in the age group of 15 years and above, about 5 in 10 adults (52.3%) were exposed to secondhand smoke at home and 29.0% at public places (mainly in public transports and restaurants). As per the Global Youth Tobacco Survey (GYTS) 2009 conducted among the age group of 13-15 years  21.9% youths are exposed to second-hand smoke in their homes; 26.4% have one or more parents who smoke. In addition to the considerable health costs of treating tobacco-caused diseases, tobacco kills people at the height of their productivity, depriving families of breadwinners and the nation of a healthy workforce.[4]


In 2003 Government of India enacted the “The Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce, Production, Supply and Distribution) Act,” (COTPA) to regulate consumption, production, supply and distribution of tobacco products, by imposing restrictions on advertisement, promotion and sponsorship of tobacco products; prohibiting smoking in public places; prohibiting sale to and by minors, prohibiting sale within a radius of 100 yards of educational institutions and through mandatory depiction of specified pictorial health warnings on all tobacco product packs.  


Section – 5 of COTPA inter-alia prohibit all forms of advertisements, promotion and sponsorship of tobacco products. In 2003, before COTPA was enforced, MOHFW with support of WHO commissioned a study titled “Bollywood: Victim or Ally” to help develop a strategy to reduce smoking in films.  The aim of the study was to understand the extent to which movies impact youth’s lifestyles and the impact of portrayal of tobacco in Indian films


In 2006, after COTPA 2003 banned tobacco advertisements of any kind, WHO and MoHFW commissioned another study to document changes in tobacco imagery in films.


Key findings

2003 study

2006 study

Movies depicting tobacco use



Lead character smoking *



Tobacco brands/product  placement and visibility




  *of the movies containing tobacco scene


This “after” study clearly established that tobacco imagery, including brand display had markedly increased in the wake of tobacco advertising bans in other media. Consequently, COTPA’s rules were refined in 2005 to meet the challenge of tobacco imagery in films. However, these rules could only be implemented from 2nd October, 2012 after addressing all the implementation concerns of Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.


As per the Rules all films and TV programmes certified/produced on or after 2nd October, 2012 that depict tobacco product or its use must have


A strong editorial justification explaining the necessity of display of tobacco products or its use (to CBFC)

Anti-Tobacco Health Spot of 30 seconds duration each (beginning and middle)

Anti-Tobacco Audio Visual Disclaimer of 20 seconds duration each (beginning and middle)

Anti-Tobacco Health Warning as a prominent static message during the period of display of tobacco products or their use





[1] Report of Tobacco Control in India, 2004

[2]  Jha P, Jacob B, Gajalakshmi V, Gupta P, Dhingra N, Kumar R, et al. (2008). A Nationally Representative Case-Control Study of Smoking and Death in India. The New England Journal of Medicine.358; 1-11.

[3] John RM, Sung HY, Max W. (2009). Economic Cost of Tobacco Use in India. Tobacco Control. Apr; 18(2): 138-43.

[4] WHO (2005). Why tobacco is a public health priority. Available from