The Cigarettes & Other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce, Production, Supply and Distribution) Act, 2003: This Act was enacted to implement measures to ensure that effective protection was provided to non-smokers from involuntary exposure to tobacco smoke and to protect children and young people from being addicted to the use of tobacco. It was also considered expedient to prohibit the consumption of cigarettes and other tobacco products injurious to health, with a view to achieving improvement of public health in general as enjoined by Article 47 of the Constitution.
Section 3 (a) of the said Act defines ‘advertisement’ as including ‘ any visible representation by way of notice, circular, label, wrapper or other document and also includes any announcement made orally or by any means of producing or transmitting light, sound, smoke or gas.’ Surrogate advertisements clearly come under the definition as it involves making the tobacco labels clearly visible to people through other products by the same name. Moreover, the public is always reminded of the tobacco’s brand name through the advertisements of such other products. So such advertisements are liable to be a subject matter of this Act and therefore subject to its restrictions.
Section 5 (1) of the Act states: ‘No person engaged in, or purported to be engaged in the production, supply or distribution of cigarettes or any other tobacco products shall advertise and no person having control over a medium shall cause to be advertised cigarettes or any other tobacco products through that medium and no person shall take part in any advertisement which directly or indirectly suggests or promotes the use or consumption of cigarettes or any other tobacco products.’