The National Organisation For Tobacco Eradication (NOTE), an anti-tobacco organisation, has welcomed Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan’s decision to withdraw from surrogate ads promoting tobacco products on his 79th birthday.
The NGO in September had written to the veteran actor to withdraw from an endorsement campaign promoting a ‘paan masala’ brand claiming that his distancing from the campaign would help wean away youngsters from getting hooked to tobacco.
“NOTE welcomes the decision taken by Amitabh Bachchan to withdraw from all surrogate advertisements related to tobacco products with immediate effect and would like to congratulate the superstar for showing solidarity to the efforts made by the government and non-governmental organisations in the fight against tobacco,” said President of the NOTE and Goa-based oncologist, Shekhar Salkar.
Earlier on Monday, Amitabh Bachchan in an official statement said he had returned the money, which he had received for endorsing the paan masala ad, adding that he was not aware that the ad campaign fell under the surrogate advertising category.
“The decision taken by Bachchan will have a positive impact on society. It will also serve as a cue to other film personalities engaged in such embellishments of promoting tobacco,” Salkar added.
In September this year, the anti-tobacco organisation in a letter to Bachchan had said that since paan-masala had severe ill-effects on people’s health, especially youth, Bachchan, who was also a brand ambassador for the Central government’s ‘Pulse Polio’ campaign must drop out of the advertising campaign promoting paan-masala.