The poster of upcoming Vijay movie – Sarkar violates the tobacco control law by displaying tobacco product in the poster. The poster has the lead actor Vijay posing with a cigarette in his mouth. This was a violation of Section 5 (Prohibition of Tobacco Advertisement, Promotion, Sponsorship) of COTPA – Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act, 2003 and GSR 786 of COTPA, which prohibits “the display of tobacco products or their use in the promos and poster of films”.
Actor Vijay has been portrayed with tobacco products earlier too and he continued to use tobacco for this film promotion. When confronted, he and his team will immediately apologize. By this time, their movie acquires a lot of popularity. This is a marketing strategy adopted by Vijay to promote his movies.
It is well known that the youngsters imitate popular actors. It is disappointing to see that a lead actor such as Vijay agreed to be portrayed with a cigarette. It questions the responsibility that he has towards the younger generation who follow him passionately. At one side, campaigns such as “Green Line” are working towards tobacco free schools and youngsters. At the other side, actors such as Vijay are promoting tobacco usage, thereby causing a serious damage to the public health.
Tamilnadu People’s Forum for Tobacco Control (TNPFTC) condemns the poster that promotes the use of tobacco products and most importantly violates the law of the land. Even after continuous confrontation with the Tamil Nadu film industry about their tobacco control violations, the industry does not seem to abide by the rules.
TNPFTC has sent representations to State Monitoring Committee Against Section 5 Violations and Central Board of Film Certification to take severe action against the violators, especially Actor Vijay for this violation.