A senior official of the Delhi government has written to the Union Health Ministry, the Maharashtra public health department and the organisers of the Filmfare Awards to "stop the advertisement, promotion and sponsorships" of tobacco brands in the 64th edition of the awards to be held this Saturday in Mumbai.
Additional Director in Delhi Health Department Dr S K Arora, who was earlier heading Delhi State Tobacco Control cell, wrote the letters in his personal capacity saying such kind of advertisements and promotions were violation of COTPA (Cigarette and Other Tobacco Products Act) and the Food Safety and Standard Act.
"The main sponsor of the 64th Film Fare Award Ceremony is the leading brand of tobaccos. The advertisements for the same are going on in various medias through out India," he said. He further said that timely action can save lakhs of people especially the youngsters from getting influenced from such advertisements of tobaccos and hence can be saved from the menace.
"I feel disappointed that in spite of lodging a complaint for tobacco promotion/sponsorship in 5th ODI India vs Australia in Kotla ground of Delhi one week before the scheduled match date (March 13, 2019), the violation could not be prevented and the match was played with huge advertisement/promotion/ sponsorship of tobacco brands which violated both the COTPA and Food Safety Standard Act of Govt of India," Arora said.
The undersigned interacted with the president and the CEO of Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA) repeatedly and tried to convince them about the violation on legal ground and their responsibility towards society especially youngsters on moral grounds, but all went in vain, he said in his letter.
The letter further states that the World Health Organisation has also recently urged governments of all countries to enforce bans on tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship at sporting events and others. He has requested for an early action to prevent this violation on legal ground and in public health interest.
(With PTI inputs)