World No Tobacco Day: Actors on whether anti-tobacco ads before film screening need a makeover or not

On the occasion of World No Tobacco Day on May 31, famous Bollywood personalities tell us what they like or don’t about the anti-tobacco ads before film screening.
Actors Anupam Kher, Divya Dutta and Tusshar Kapoor, among other talk about the anti-tobacco ads that are being screened in movie theatres.
Actors Anupam Kher, Divya Dutta and Tusshar Kapoor, among other talk about the anti-tobacco ads that are being screened in movie theatres.
Updated on May 31, 2019 03:38 PM IST
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Hindustan Times | By Shreya Mukherjee, New Delhi

When you walk into a movie theatre, you can’t ignore the advertisements on the hazards of cigarette smoking and consuming harmful tobaccos, just right before the film starts.While many call them “cringeworthy”, others deem it a necessity but also feel there is indeed a need of a makeover. Here’s what some Bollywood celebs feel about the same.

Richa Chadha

Speaking specifically from my experience in the movie theatre, I feel like no one takes those ads very seriously because they tend to be fear-inducing and preachy. I think they may even trigger people into going quickly for a smoke break in the interval, which is the opposite of what we want to do. I think we need to reimagine how we communicate the dangers of cigarette smoking. Even without a cigarette warning in movies previously, fewer people smoked as opposed to today. Strangely, I find that the number of smokers has gone up in my generation, despite having all the information that we need in linking the growth of cancer to smoking. Hence, we need a new, creative way to communicate this issue.

Anupam Kher

I think the makeover has already happened. I recently went to see a movie in the theatre and I saw Akshay Kumar’s ad about not smoking, which in itself, is a change. But it’s important sometimes to frighten people with the consequences of smoking and graphic details are important because it’s not only bad for the health for the person, who is smoking but also for the passive smokers and causes pollution. Also, when you show that the cause of your death can be a problem for your near and dear ones then I think it does make a dent in the thought process of the smoker. It’s important to focus on the problems of smoking.

Divya Dutta

I think they surely need a makeover... to get people off smoking, you don’t have to show visually horrifying ads which in the theatre most people have disdain for... people who smoke need to be motivated and inspired by more innovative ads . These ads, I don’t think make a difference. I have only observed people around not liking seeing them when they are having popcorn, enjoying the film. A makeover will surely help.

Dino Morea

These ads definitely need a makeover. If the ads can be made nicer and the communication can be made better, people will enjoy watching them. The communication isn’t great right now, and the production value is limited and I can’t see why we can’t make nice ads as they might actually get people to stop smoking. The ads right now are a butt of jokes and people laugh at them. The ad should be able to make people sit up and heed.

Tusshar Kapoor

Yes, I feel these anti-tobacco ads in cinemas are very effective and important. Though people cringe watching them, I think it’s both a conscious and subconscious reminder about the devastating outcome of consuming tobacco. No matter how much we feel that the images are not really presentable and they are too disturbing or they are not palatable at the cinemas, I think the purpose is to make people understand how bad tobacco consumption is for health. I give these ads a thumbs up and the government for doing a good job. They could change the ads and do a makeover, but the effect of these ads is important.

Satish Kaushik

These ads before the movies are disturbing, and I know that the whole objective is to make people stay away from tobacco. It is a highly needed social message but I think there can be subtler ways to give the same message. At the same time, I feel that such ads definitely do move people and help make a point about a menace that ruins so many families.

Author tweets @Shreya_MJ

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Saturday, October 23, 2021