By Jyothi Swaroop Makena

13th July, 2023

What Is The Impact Of Watching Smoking Scenes On Screen?

The Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules of 2021 (IT Rules, 2021) regulate the OTT services that deliver curated content in India. 


"The impact Of watching smoking scenes on screen"

Users feel that the depiction of smoking content on TV or OTT has an insignificant impact on smoking uptake. The influence of friends or peers and mental stress are among the most influential factors when it comes to smoking,

The Impact Of Smoking Content

People Claim To Be Largely Indifferent

Two in every three respondents were indifferent to the depictions of smoking in OTT content. This is largely because people engage with this content for recreation or leisure, and evidence of any change in their behaviour or actions due to OTT content consumption remains scant.

Repeated Exposure To Pictoral Warnings

The effect of repeated exposure to the pictorial and threatening warnings (PTW) associated with tobacco may decrease emotions such as fear or disgust and that the warnings have no effect on people’s intention to quit or reduce cigarette consumption (Badie et al 2019).

Three Biggest Influencers For Smoking

al-Kubaisy et al. (2012) and Koushki and Bustan (2006) highlight the ‘theory of triadic influence’, arguing that (a) age or gender, (b) family or friends, and (c)  school or community are the three main points of contact that influence young people to take up smoking.

Many viewers questioned the need for additional text disclaimers, given that most of them are aware of the content descriptors and age-ratings already in place. Over 50% agreed that additional text disclaimers would negatively impact their viewing experience.