Exposure to on-screen (portrayal of tobacco use in media) tobacco use has been shown to be one of the factors influencing initiation of tobacco use by youth. Media rating system is one of the tool to reduce exposure of youth to on-screen tobacco use. There was a proposal by Central Board for Film Certification (film certification authority in India) to possibly rate films with portrayal of tobacco use as ‘A’ (only for adult viewing) films, in order to reduce its exposure to youth.
IPH carried out a study among youth in Karnataka (including students from metropolitan city, towns and villages) to assess awareness and enforcement of current media rating system. Study findings suggested poor re of viewership restrictions as prescribed by prevailing media rating system. Study also provided data on various aspects of tobacco use and its association with exposure to on-screen tobacco use among youth. This study was funded by the World Health Organisation (India). Publications from the study are in progress.