Union Health Ministry reaffirmed OTT Rules Mandating Anti-Tobacco Warnings in Streaming Content

LI Network

Published on: October 23, 2023 at 13:32 IST

The Union Health Ministry has unequivocally reaffirmed its commitment to the OTT Rules 2023, which mandate online streaming platforms to integrate anti-tobacco warnings into their content.

In a stern message issued on Saturday, the ministry emphasized that there will be no compromise on these regulations and cautioned of consequences in case of non-compliance.

The Health Ministry dismissed a recent media report that claimed an alleged “uneasy compromise” between the Union Government and over-the-top (OTT) streaming services regarding the inclusion of smoking warnings in their content.

The ministry labeled this report as “false, misleading, and based on misrepresented facts,” asserting that it does not accurately represent the government’s dedication to enhancing public health as a top-priority responsibility.

Recognizing the paramount importance of public health, the government extended the COTP (Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products) film rules to cover OTT platforms.

The OTT Rules 2023 came into effect on September 1, 2023, and under these regulations, all OTT platforms, including popular services like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney + Hotstar, Jio Cinema, Sony LIV, ALTBalaji, Voot, among others, are mandated to display anti-tobacco health spots, anti-tobacco health warnings as a prominent static message, and an audio-visual disclaimer regarding the adverse effects of tobacco use, as stipulated in the rules.

This proactive step by the government has garnered praise from various public health organizations and experts, acknowledging India’s global leadership in tobacco control measures.

The ministry’s statement underscores the strict requirement for all OTT platforms to adhere to the provisions of the OTT Rules 2023, leaving no room for compromise.

The government is resolute in its commitment to enforce these rules, and it is prepared to take action against any instances of non-compliance.

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