“There are several empirical studies and global evidence which show that depiction of tobacco usage in movies increases the risk of initiation of tobacco use in an indirect manner,” Salaam Bombay Foundation Programme Director Devika Chadha said at a workshop.
The workshop was attended by members of health and information and broadcasting ministries, along with representatives from the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) and film industry.
Health Ministry Director Rakesh Kumar said more communication was needed between the health and information and broadcasting ministries to tackle the issue.
Supriya Sahu, representative of the information and broadcasting ministry, said the ministry monitors 300 of the over 700 TV channels to check there was no direct or indirect advertising of tobacco or alcohol.
Supporting the activists, scriptwriter Rekha Nigam said: “Hands of Bollywood are bloodied…there are thousands ways of showing a character than showing smoking.”