Tobacco Advertising Banned

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India’s Tobacco Advertising Ban
In 2001 the Indian government began considering an act that would ban tobacco companies from advertising their products and sponsoring sports and cultural events. (‘Ban on Tobacco Ads’, 2001) There were people defending both sides of the issue. Some of the people for the ban were individuals and groups connected with the World Health Organization and the Cancer Awareness Society. Some of the people against the ban were anti governmental regulation groups and individuals and of course tobacco companies. Here are some of their arguments:

The arguments in favor of the ban on tobacco advertising in India were as follows: Firstly tobacco was and is accounting for an increasingly large number of deaths worldwide.
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The Supreme Court in Canada held that: “If we lose sight of this principle, then we lose sight of the truth on which all the free societies depend, namely that freedom and risks are inextricable, and whomsoever assumes the right to save us from risks, is also assuming right to limit our freedom.” (‘Ban on Tobacco Ads’, 2001) Secondly, people arguing against the ban argued that if selling and manufacturing tobacco products was legal advertising them should also be legal. Thirdly, and possibly most convincingly they questioned whether the ban would be effective. Studies showed that people who started smoking did it to see what it was like or because their friends did, but no one surveyed said they started smoking because of an advertisement. Also in India only a portion of tobacco users actually smoked cigarettes and those against the ban said that the ban would not have much effect on other types of tobacco …show more content…
On the other hand the tobacco industry directly and indirectly employed 26 million people and was a major contributor the national treasury. The Indian government probably didn’t only disinterestedly have public health at heart. Suhel Seth, CEO, Equus Advertising said, "The ban does not have teeth. It is a typical knee-jerk reaction by any Government to create some kind of popularity for itself. (‘Ban on Tobacco Ads’, 2001) Faced with a variance of interests the government ultimately chose to pass the ban. On May 1, 2004, the Government of India passed the Anti-Smoking Act that prohibited smoking in public places and banned any direct or indirect form of advertising of tobacco products. Today the act has been in effect for 10 years and some question how effective it has been. Banjot Kaur Bhatia wrote an article called ‘What ban? Tobacco ads continue’. In the article he says that in various media sources tobacco companies continue to advertise while authorities look the other way. As of 2013 Bihar State Health Society, executive director Sanjay Kumar, has been unable to organize local government officials into a united front against these kinds of corrupt occurrences. (Bhatia, 2013) According to Ram. Jiloha, “Studies show that the instances of showing smoking in movies have increased significantly to 89% after the

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