The Shyam Benegal committee has recommended scrapping the existing advisory and replacing it with a static visual at the beginning of the film. The move will bring a huge relief and cheer to filmmakers who were unhappy with the tobacco advisory mandated by the health ministry. The committee has made five more recommendations on film certification pertaining to anti-smoking warnings and preventing cruelty to animals during the shooting of films. The committee has stressed on the smooth viewing of films without interfering with the importance of anti-tobacco messages for people.
“A meaningful static disclaimer in the beginning of the film with standard visual background approved by the ministry of health may be shown for a minimum period along with an audio backing it,” says a report of the eight-member panel to the information and broadcasting ministry. “This should be made in all Indian languages and made applicable to all media platforms.”The government imposed a smoking ban, prohibiting films and TV shows from showing actors smoking, in 2005 after a public debate over tobacco control in India. Producers and broadcasters were told to insert a mandatory warning in scenes that demanded smoking visuals for authenticity.