NGO asks Bhandarkar to comply with smoking rule

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By Hindustan Times

An NGO working in the field of healthcare Tuesday asked Madhur Bhandarkar, the producer of Hindi movie Heroine, to comply with rules against showing smoking scenes on screen. Hriday (Health Related Information Dissemination Amongst Youth), which has been working in spreading message
against tobacco usage, wrote to Bhandarkar after the producer approached Delhi High Court seeking a censor board clearance for his Kareena Kapoor-starrer movie "Heroine", without following the regulations against depiction of smoking.

The new guidelines, under the Cigarettes and other Tobacco Products Rules, 2004, say that every new and old film (Indian and foreign), as well as TV programmes (new and old), must have the actors mouthing health warnings at the beginning of the film, and in the middle. It also restricts depiction of smoking.

The organisation has written to the producer, citing example of other movies like "Agneepath" and "Ek Main Aur Ek Tu".

"We would like to bring to your notice that many of the renowned filmmakers like Karan Johar have complied with the regulations in full spirit for his blockbuster movies like 'Agneepath' and 'Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu'... Blurring of scenes where close up of the tobacco product is shown and running health message in the beginning and the interval of the film," the letter said.

Bhandarkar Monday moved the Delhi High Court against the information and broadcasting ministry's order to display anti-smoking messages during smoking scenes in the movie. The movie is scheduled to release Sep 21.

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