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NEWS: India Bans Smoking in Films

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posted on Jun, 1 2005 @ 10:40 AM
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Last year, India banned smoking in public and prohibited the advertisement of tobacco products at sporting events. The Health Ministry of India has now passed a law that says no new films or TV programs are allowed to portray images of smoking, including non-native films. Any movies predating this law must contain a prominent warning. All logos of tobacco products from now on must be masked or cut out. 800,000 Indians a year die from smoking-related diseases.
 



news.bbc.co.uk
Film director and producer Mahesh Bhatt condemned the move.

"One would understand a ban on surrogate advertising, but to completely ban [smoking] is ridiculous, a joke taken too far."

Fellow filmmaker, Shyam Benegal, said: "The government should, instead, go after the source - the guys who produce tobacco and make tons of money."

Leading actor Anupam Kher said the move could be the start of a worrying trend: "Tomorrow, the government can turn around and say don't show guns in movies as it will encourage violence."

But the government is standing by its decision and has the support of national and global health organisations.

Health Minister Anbumani Ramadoss said: "More and more youngsters and women are taking up tobacco use."


Please visit the link provided for the complete story.


Smoking and the film industry seem to go hand-in-hand these days....The imagery involved with smoking a cigarette can often times tell us a great deal about a character...And many filmmakers still use it as a symbol of sexuality and lust.


I'm more cognizant of it's used in Hollywood as opposed to Bollywood, but perhaps worldwatcher can shed us some light on it's use in Indian films - I'd assume the symbolism is still very much the same.

I have to agree that it's a very wise decision to remove product placement from the film industry in the sense of detracting attention away from specific makes and brands of consumer goods....But I find it surprising that the world's largest film industry has been forced to be the first to make such a bold move in the public censorship of tobacco...

Do you view this as a step forward or a step back?

Related News Links:
dailytelegraph.news.com.au
timesofindia.indiatimes.com
film.guardian.co.uk




posted on Jun, 1 2005 @ 10:49 AM
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Step forward. Good on Bollywood and India


800,000 people dying from smoking in India alone is horrific. Can you imagine how much strain that places on the nations health care? I'd outlaw cigarettes and confiscate cigarette companies assets to pay for their victims health care. Either that or deny health treatment for cigarette related illness.



posted on Jun, 1 2005 @ 11:02 AM
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I smoked cigarettes from the ages of 14-23. I am 24 now, and an ex-smoker of 6 months. I am HEAVILY against cigarettes. I like what they're trying to do, but I think it's a little silly to ban images of people smoking outright.

What if you're making a damn movie about a heavy smoker? Heh. Movies contain images of illegal and immoral activity and that's just a fact of life.

Can people make movies about crack smokers? How about pot smokers? If not, then can people make movies about heroin addicts? Cocaine users?

I think that a partial reduction of smoking in movies would probably be a better way to go if they are so intent upon this. For instance, cigarette smoking could only take up a certain low percentage of screen time or something. Even that, though, is a little ridiculous.

Zip



posted on Jun, 1 2005 @ 11:11 AM
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You both make some excellent points....and still, it seems a somewhat sticky situation...

I guess you have that age old question that comes to mind - Does life imitate art or does art imitate life?

I see movies as an interpretation of the world around us...Choosing to leave out various elements because of their danger to humanity is a banal attempt at masking the obvious....And at its roots, acts as a tightening coil upon artistry and creativity itself...


[edit on 6/1/2005 by EnronOutrunHomerun]



posted on Jun, 1 2005 @ 11:11 AM
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I smoked cigarettes from the ages of 14-23. I am 24 now, and an ex-smoker of 6 months

Ex-smokers kick arse!! I been smoke free for about 2 or three months and I feel great...im only 22...good time to quit.

If I were GOD I would ban smoking ciggarette tobacco....but Im not god.
People have the choice to smoke, companies have the right to advertise (adults) and if you chose to smoke...be prepared to suffer. I don't wanna hear you gripping are blameing PMorris 20 years down the road because you have cancer.



posted on Jun, 1 2005 @ 11:12 AM
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I think its context Zip. Cigarettes are used in a favourable light by lead characters that are portrayed as good. If a coc aine user was portrayed in a movie and they were the "good guys" so to speak and the context was that it was acceptable I think you'd have an uproar.

I think the portrayal of lead characters smoking should be banned unless pertintent to the story. Putting a cigar in Pierce Brosnan's mouth to show how suave and cool he is is wrong. Putting a cigar in the mouth of Al Capone because HE DID SMOKE them is different.



posted on Jun, 1 2005 @ 11:26 AM
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I think the portrayal of lead characters smoking should be banned unless pertintent to the story. Putting a cigar in Pierce Brosnan's mouth to show how suave and cool he is is wrong. Putting a cigar in the mouth of Al Capone because HE DID SMOKE them is different.

If Pierce Brosnan smoking a cigar makes you want to smoke in anyway and Capone does not...then you (not you as in you but people in general) have the problem. If that is true and you are effected by it, then if you do not know for sure that the lead character does not smoke, you have the option to not see the film.

If you are a parent and are worried about your children being influenced by pierce then you have the option to view the film first......if this conflicts with what I said above then you can just not see the movie at all unless you know for certain that the lead character does not smoke

Maybe they can have a warning.....that would be cool I think

People do not drink DUFF by the case because Homer does on the simpsons. Watching movies like rush, blow and other drug movies should not make people shoot up.

Children are influenced by this stuff, but that's where proper parenting come in. Adults should NOT be influenced by such things. They are of the age to know right from wrong, good from bad and they know the effects of smoking.

[edit on 1/6/2005 by SportyMB]

[edit on 1/6/2005 by SportyMB]



posted on Jun, 1 2005 @ 11:39 AM
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Ex-smokers definitely rock.


You're right about the context issue, but that's the thing about context - it's subjective as hell.

Movies may be entertainment, but they are also art. There are MANY such films that depict drugs in a favourable light - pot and coc aine alike (remember the 80's?)

As long as in REAL life, I harm no animals, if I want to, I can film a 2 hour long presentation showing a man who spends his live coming up with new creative ways to kill cats and then I can charge people to see it. If they want to see it, they can pay to see it and if they don't want to see it then they don't have to pay me to see it.

I can film a 2 hour long presentation on self-mutilation.

I can film presentations on assassinating presidents, torturing POWs, bombing schools, gardening, caring for livestock, job interview tips, cult suicides, or chav fashion.

It's all artistic expression as long as it doesn't incite people to commit illegal acts - for instance, I can show a movie about a man who kills a president, but I can't show a movie that says "When you leave this theatre, you need to bomb something. Take these bomb making tips that I gave you and go bomb something." This would be cigarette advertisement.

Some smooth chelloveck smoking a cigarette while shooting dudes isn't, in my mind, a cigarette advertisement. Has a cigarette company paid someone to put that image in the movie? Then it might technically be an advertisement, but as long as product names aren't displayed and there is no "I smoke Kools, so I can breathe easier after a long, tough, cool fistfight" type of direct advertising, then I see no reason why this fact of life should be omitted from our artistic creations that represent life in some fashion, for the purpose of entertainment.

Zip



posted on Jun, 1 2005 @ 11:41 AM
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In bollywood, it is always used to be the "bad guy" "villian or thug" that smokes cigarettes. In mainstream bollywood movies, the heroes and heroines never smoke in the older movies, however from the 70's on, some of bollywood biggest stars Amitabh Bachan, Shahrukh Khan, etc will now smoke in a few scenes, personally I think it is for the effect of the role they are trying to portray, which is something I have no problem with it. They are actors trying to tell a story

and Sometimes a cigarette in hand provides the right effect and imagery for the director, banning it from movies completely, seems just way out there for me...for as long as I can remember I have seen cigarrettes in bollywood movies.





external image
btw, I'm a smoker (yeah, yeah, I know, I've been quitting all this year :lol
I'll get it done, but what I meant to say is, that when I am in the movies or watching a movie at home and I see the star or one of the character smoking I don't immediately crave or want to smoke a cigarette too.

India currently has a problem with smoking of beedies, young and old all smoke, especially the poorer class who smokes the really nasty stuff, but I don't feel banning it from movies will help curb that problem. Education and stricter laws on the sale of tobacco products and their manufacturing is what is required there.


[edit on 6-1-2005 by worldwatcher]



posted on Jun, 1 2005 @ 11:44 AM
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Children are influenced by this stuff, but that's where proper parenting come in. Adults should NOT be influenced by such things. They are of the age to know right from wrong, good from bad and they know the effects of smoking.

I don't know about that though....Keeping on the James Bond example, think of all the cars they've put in those movies that sell sell sell.....The BMW Z3 Roadster in Goldeneye for example....It's not to say that people wouldn't have bought it without the product placement.....But I bet it helped...

Now consider the number of smokers out there who go to the movies....They see someone light up and it's like a switch in their brain flips on "Time to smoke - must smoke - need a cigarette" - I know people who actually don't go to movies for that exact reason....either that or they just can't sit down for 2 hours without a cig, much less having to watch other people smoke them on a screen the size of a house....

I dunno - I'm not agreeing 100% with the idea I'm throwing out here....Just another way to look at it....



posted on Jun, 1 2005 @ 12:58 PM
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Keeping on the James Bond example, think of all the cars they've put in those movies that sell sell sell.....The BMW Z3 Roadster in Goldeneye for example

Very true, the same can be said for smoking, cars, women, wanted to fly, parachute...anything. However, I believe the people smoking on screen would not influence an adult to start smoking. People may like the idea of fast cars, parachuting and hot blondes (Im a sucker for blondes) and the movie industry does a good job of adverstising and showing people the products. But people already know about ciggarette smoking, most adults have already made up thier mind on if smoking is "cool" or not, so Pierce with a cigar should have no influence on them. And these days alomost everyone in America is aware of smoking does to the body.

BTW, When I smoked and I saw someone on TV light up.....I would suddenly feel the crave to do so aswell. Just me. So yes It does affect some smokers...but non-smokers...I dont think so.



posted on Jun, 1 2005 @ 01:11 PM
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Hmm...


People cry about any National ID program, or the right of the government to monitor things...

But they have no problem with a government body, American, Indian, whoever, telling people what they can and can't do, and where they can and can't do it.

How interesting!



posted on Jun, 1 2005 @ 01:32 PM
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People cry about any National ID program, or the right of the government to monitor things...

But they have no problem with a government body, American, Indian, whoever, telling people what they can and can't do, and where they can and can't do it.

How interesting!

How true....:shk:


You mentioned some interesting points WW....Especially the use of cigs to single out who the "bad guys" are....They do that in most Hollywood movies too....To be honest, most people probably don't even realize how often they see smokers in movies...Think about MIB - Those break room aliens - Downing the coffee and puffing away


But the simple fact that they were smoking and drinking coffee added an element of humor that we all can relate to....

Maybe in the future when kids watch scenes like that in movies, it will be an inside joke that gets passed down - Older generations will have to explain why that was funny....Maybe I'm just exaggerating there...


Also of interest is that you, WW, mentioned that seeing someone light up on TV in a movie doesn't make you want to smoke, but SportyMB admits that when he smoked, it would initiate a craving...I guess maybe this is something that splits the boards, but no doubt was a factor in the decision process of passing this law...

I agree with the idea....I just don't agree with the mute being placed now on the film industry....This idea has been pushed in Hollywood as well, although not to the same extent regarding placing warning labels on older movies...

Maybe it is a good idea to simply leave it a warning label though....But ten years down the road, who knows how many other warnings will have to be added to the front cover before it's legal for the public to view freely....






[edit on 6/1/2005 by EnronOutrunHomerun]



posted on Jun, 1 2005 @ 03:01 PM
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When I smoked, seeing someone smoking on-screen made me crave cigarettes, without a doubt. Unless the movie was absolutely riveting, I would sneak out for (usually just 1) smoke break during a 1.5-2 hour movie.

Now that I don't smoke, when I see people in real life or movies smoking, I see that as being totally disgusting. That's how people who don't smoke SHOULD see it, but that's not up to me.

So, how about the easily influenced people that think that smoking cigarettes will bring them fame, fortune, and prestige? Movies don't make peoples' minds up for them (usually - Fahrenheit 9/11 did for many people.) Movies don't cause people to smoke, society and stupidity do.

I agree with the people who have said this is a stupid ban and those who say that we should attack this problem at its roots:

1 - smoking tobacco is legal
2 - cigarette manufacturers exist legally
3 - tobacco is gleefully taxed
4 - sure, people know the health effects - but people these days aren't in touch with their bodies as much as they should be. That's why Americans are fat. People ignore their bodies and STDs and obesity run rampant. We need to help youths focus on important aspects of life, including health, safety, self-awareness, self-esteem, and mental development.

Zip



posted on Jun, 1 2005 @ 03:18 PM
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Interesting bit of Info:



news.bbc.co.uk...
Some analysts say the link between the film industry and use of tobacco may be somewhat exaggerated since in India, cigarettes account for only 14% of the total consumption.

A staggering 55% of tobacco users smoke bidis (the rolled up tobacco leaf) and some 30 per cent chew tobacco.

The film industry, they say, can perhaps be linked to cigarette smoking but to say that it promotes the use of chewing tobacco or bidis is a bit far-fetched.



posted on Jun, 1 2005 @ 07:10 PM
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They can allways just watch there movis on Conputer or at home. Or is it illegal?



posted on Jun, 1 2005 @ 07:12 PM
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There is no way the film industry encourages chewing tobacco. In most films and television shows a person chewing tobacco is generally portrayed as a "hick" with few teeth sitting with a spittoon. Not a very positive image.

How about admitting that people make their own choices and not blaming it on the Big Screen.



posted on Jun, 2 2005 @ 04:25 AM
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How about admitting that people make their own choices and not blaming it on the Big Screen.

Novel Concept eh!! People don't think of that these days....

People are quick to jump on the band wagon for THIER freedom of speech and religion and freedom of the press and all that other stuff....this works both ways. You have the freedom of choice to NOT see the movie if you think people will smoke and if you feel you have no will power that Keanu smoking in Constantnine will influence you to start.....(good movie BTW)

Hell let's go ahead and Ban fast food from the movies too...just as bad as smoking in some cases....makes people fat



posted on Jun, 2 2005 @ 01:47 PM
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Yay, another instance of Government Knows Best, to force changes on expression and symbology because it's "good for the children".

Let's all push harder for international laws in America, so when even more countries pass such "we know what's good for you" laws, then the US can follow suit!

Next up, banning visuals of civil unrest or rioting, makes people all nervous and causes more violence....or visuals of governmental corruption, because it causes people to distrust government...

The road to Hell is paved with good (or justifiable) intentions. Nopthing like Public Safety to create justification for censorhip.

(I wish I could remember the title of a series, sci-fi, that had as it's overbearing, dictatorial government, an Office of Public Safety.)



posted on Jun, 2 2005 @ 01:52 PM
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Sadly, there is no outrage here because America didn't place the ban, or a member of the Bush family.

Remember the outcry a week or so ago of a private theater deciding not to show a film by Fonda? Ooh, all sorts of nasty accusations of censorship. Because it was in America. A foreign government body commits a state sanctioned censorship, and it's acceptable.


Originally posted by Djarums
Hmm...


People cry about any National ID program, or the right of the government to monitor things...

But they have no problem with a government body, American, Indian, whoever, telling people what they can and can't do, and where they can and can't do it.

How interesting!



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