marlboro smoking lady

Smoking ban among Bollywood Stars

Published on March 7th, 2008 15:03

Attempts not to show smoking on screen are now undertaken in order to avoid encouraging smoking or giving it positive associations, especially for family films. Smoking on screen is more common today among characters that are portrayed as anti-social or even criminal.

India's health minister, Anbamani Ramadoss has told Bollywood superstars to stop setting a bad example by smoking in public.

Mr. Ramadoss decided to ban smoking on screen because he was worried about the number of young Indians becoming addicted to tobacco.

"There shouldn't be any smoking scenes in movies; we have statistics showing that 52 per cent of children have their first puff of cigarette due to celebrities smoking on screen" Mr. Ramadoss showed.

Mr. Ramadoss added, "I would like to make a request, not only to Mr. Shah Rukh Khan, but also to Amitabh Bachchan and to all the other personalities, that children are being affected. There shouldn't be any smoking scenes in movies; we have statistics showing that 52 per cent of children have their first puff of cigarette due to celebrities smoking on screen."

Both Bachchan and Khan, currently Bollywood's most popular leading men, have violated the smoking ban in public.

Bachchan told: "I think there is a huge amount of creative freedom that should be allowed in cinema and the arts."

But, Khan, who often lights up in public and on screen, added: "As film-makers we should have creative liberties because cinema is all about make-believe. We must not have too much censorship on that."

Mr. Shah Rukh Khan, Amitabh Bachchan and other actors are against government minister decision. Mr. Shah Rukh Khan refuses to accept the smoking ban in public places, but in an interview, he said: "Every time I'm in front of a television channel I always say: 'Children, don't smoke. It kills you' ... It's the worst habit and I want to give it up."

The Health Ministry showed that about 250 million people use tobacco in India and every year smoking tobacco kills more than 900,000 people.