World Health Organisation (WHO) on 1 February 2016 recommended all governments to rate movies with smoking scenes to protect children and adolescents from tobacco addiction in Geneva.
According to the WHO’s third edition of Smoke-free movies: from evidence to action report, movies showing the use of tobacco products have enticed millions of young people worldwide to start smoking.
The report also stated that many films produced outside of the United States also contain smoking scenes. Surveys had shown that tobacco imagery was found in top-grossing films produced in six European countries which are Germany, Iceland, Italy, Poland, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom and two Latin American countries, Argentina and Mexico.
Nine in 10 movies from Iceland and Argentina contained smoking including films rated for young people.
The WHO Smoke-Free Movie report recommended the following policy measures in line with the guidelines of article 13 of the WHO FCTC. These are:
• Requiring age classification ratings for films with tobacco imagery to reduce overall exposure of youth to tobacco imagery in films.
• Certifying in movie credits that film producers receive nothing of value from anyone in exchange for using or displaying tobacco products in a film.
• Ending display of tobacco brands in films.
• Requiring strong anti-smoking advertisements to be shown before films containing tobacco imagery in all distribution channels (cinemas, televisions, online, etc).
• In addition, the report also recommended making media productions that promote smoking ineligible for public subsidies.
WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC)
The FCTC which came into force in 2005 was the first international treaty to be agreed under WHO’s auspices. It has successfully helped to co-ordinate and energise the global struggle against tobacco.
The Conference of the Parties (COP) is the Convention’s governing body and is comprised of all 180 Parties, which are obliged by international law to ban tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship.
COP regularly reviews the implementation of the Convention and takes action to promote its effectiveness. The regular sessions of COP are held at two yearly intervals.
India will host the seventh session of the Conference of the Parties (COP7) and the first session of the Meeting of the Parties (MOP1) in November 2016 at Noida.
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When: 1 February 2016