India loosens ban on smoking in movies
ICONIC FIGURES CAN BE SHOWN
SMOKING; HEALTH MINISTRY NODS
So British statesman Winston Churchill and fictional detective Sherlock Holmes, who cannot be imagined without their cigars and pipes, can now be shown smoking in new films — though with a warning.
“Characters like Churchill and Sherlock Holmes can smoke on screen. People know about them and their on-screen smoking won’t influence the audience behaviour much,” a senior health ministry official told IANS.
“This will be made public next month,” the official added.
The health ministry had banned smoking in films but director Mahesh Bhatt moved court against the government decision. The case has been pending in the Delhi High Court for the last two years. The Delhi High Court is going to hear the case in the third week of November.
Earlier, the ministry was completely against any smoking scenes in any movie. It had said all old movies with such scenes would have to be accompanied with a note saying the habit is injurious to health, and new films with such depictions could not be made at all.