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Smoking in three web series: Delhi govt seeks Centre's help

NEW DELHI: A senior official of the Delhi government has asked the Union Health Ministry to stop promotion of smoking and 'hookah' in the three web series - 'Made in Heaven', 'Mirzapur' and 'Four More Shots Please' being aired on Amazon Prime Video. Additional Director in Delhi Health Department Dr S K Arora has also written to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and producers of all these shows for stopping these violations immediately "on legal and moral grounds as well".

Arora said the office of Jeff Bezos has replied that they has received the complaint and will respond shortly.Arora has also written separately to producers Zoya Akhtar, Farhan Akhtar and Pritish Nandi on the issue.

In his letter Arora said section 5 of Cigarette and Other Tobacco Products Act 2003 (COTPA) prohibits the advertisement, promotion and sponsorship of tobacco products and this prohibition extends to the depiction of tobacco products or their use in films, television and web programmes. "These days lot of movies and TV serials are being shown on online portal which are primarily viewed by youngsters either on smart phones or on smart TV. There are many global players in this online video streaming sector in India.

"Among them I want to bring to your notice some episodes of TV serials namely 'Mirzapur', 'Four more Shots Please' and 'Made in Heaven' being shown on Amazon Prime Video which are showing usage of tobacco smoking scenes without any static health warning and other legal provisions to be followed in such TV serials showing tobacco usage," Dr Arora said.

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