Did India inspire China to ban smoking in films, TV serials?

February 12th, 2011 - 9:38 pm ICT by IANS  

Beijing, Feb 12 (IANS) As the Indian government steadily takes a tough stand against tobacco companies, it seems to have influenced neighbouring Chinese authorities too, who have banned smoking scenes in movies and television shows. The Chinese government’s move is aimed at discouraging the smoking habit among the general public, particularly minors.

The State Administration of Radio, Film and Television said on its official website Saturday that it has issued an announcement to ban inappropriate smoking scenes in movies and TV shows, China Daily reported Saturday.

Smoking scenes are out of line with the country’s stance on tobacco control, and are misleading to the public, especially minors. Thus it is prohibiting scenes of cigarette brands, people smoking at smoke-free places, minors buying and smoking cigarettes, and other smoking scenes associated with minors, the announcement said.

The administration has also directed movie and TV series makers to try to find other forms of artistic expression that don’t involve smoking, and to edit smoking scenes, if there are any, to be as short as possible.

The administration said the ban is effective immediately.

China joined the World Health Organization’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control in 2003, and pledged to make all public places smoke-free zones before January 2011.

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