Study on violation of tobacco control law (Tobacco Advertisement, Promotion and Sponsorship) in TV drama
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Ambala Foundation, Non-Government Ogranization, Bangladesh
Publication date: 2018-03-01
Tob. Induc. Dis. 2018;16(Suppl 1):A201
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The major area of the 2013 amendment to the 'Smoking and Tobacco Products Usage (Control) Act, 2005' and the corresponding Rules is the comprehensive ban on tobacco advertisement, promotion and sponsorship (TAPS) that includes prohibition of depiction, display and description of tobacco use in all entertainment media including Television. Consequently, this all sort of tobacco and smoking scene broadcasting in television is completely banned. The logic behind this kind of restriction is any kind of demonstration (direct or indirect) of tobacco product or tobacco related material is considered as one kind of advertising.
In spite of having a strong law, TV channels are still violating the law and screening smoking scene in drama. In reality, there is no monitoring mechanism to observe these kinds of violation of law in TV channels regarding broadcasting tobacco and smoking scene. Ambala Foundation conducted two studies on TV drama published on leading channels of Bangladesh. The objectives of the studies were to observe tobacco and smoking scene in different TV channels. The study also scrutinized how strategically tobacco and smoking scene are broadcasted in drama.

Total 14 national TV Channels were selected for both of studies. A total 244 dramas for study-1 and a total number of 187 drama for study-2 were observed during this study.

About 23 dramas out of 431 contained smoking scenes. In total 65 times smoking scenes is screened. Among them 11 times in one drama and 7 in another drama. The studies found that the length of smoking scene is total 40 minutes 26 Seconds. The report was submitted to Bloomberg Philanthropies and Government authorities taking step immediately.

This report can be a valuable documentation in advocating for strengthening enforcement of ban on all types of advertisement and promotional activities in electronic media through policy advocacy at country level.

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