By Jyothi Swaroop Makena

13th July, 2023

What Is The Purpose Of Statutory Warnings In Films And OTT Shows?

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 purpose of statutory warnings in films and OTT shows

OTT services are required to classify content into various categories based on the nature and type of content (e.g. U, U/A 7, U/A 13+ etc.) This helps users understand the age-appropriateness of the content they are about to watch.

The Aim Behind These Rules 

Regarding Tobacco Depiction

The Code also addresses aspects relating to tobacco depiction. It states that films or serials that portray smoking or tobacco consumption must have a higher degree of age-classification, though it refrains from prohibiting depictions of tobacco-use or prescribing how it should be depicted.

The Importance Of These Warnings

Statutory warnings in films are intended to serve as a reminder of the harmful effects of tobacco use. They can be in the form of a text message, an image, or a video clip. The messages can include information on the health risks associated with tobacco use, such as lung cancer, heart disease, and stroke.

Their Impact On People's Smoking Uptake

Research that examined the effect of repeated exposure to the pictorial and threatening warnings (PTW) associated with tobacco has found that repetition 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.

Many people don't quit smoking because they think it's too hard, and it's true that for most people quitting isn't easy. After all, the nicotine in cigarettes is a powerfully addictive drug. But with the right approach, you can overcome the cravings.