Starting from November, filmmakers will need to carefully deliberate their decision to include smoking in their works or risk the ire of the culture ministry.
As Tuoi Tre reports, from November 15 this year, Circular 25 by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism on smoking in theatrical works will officially take effect, tightening the ministry’s control over whether Vietnamese cinematic products could contain smoking scenes.
Specifically, productions are forbidden from letting characters smoke on screen or on stage in a range of situations. These comprise praising individuals or organizations who achieve success from producing and selling cigarettes; in cinematic of theatrical works produced for children; and depicting behaviors that are banned, as mentioned in Article 9 and 13 of the Law on Prevention and Control of Tobacco Harms.
These articles go into details which smoking-related acts are frowned upon, such as smoking in the presence of young children or pregnant women, coercing others to smoke, selling cigarettes to those under 18, etc.
The circular also added that smoking can only be shown on screen or on stage if the depiction is to criticize cigarette use, to portray a real historical figure, or to illustrate a real period in history. Even then, actors are forbidden from consuming real cigarettes on stage.
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