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.
A blog post, addressed by "the office of Mr Amitabh Bachchan", on October 10 night reported that he is no longer associated with the promotions of a paan masala brand. "A few days after the commercial was aired, Mr Bachchan contacted the brand and stepped out of it last week. Upon checking why this sudden move â€“ it was revealed that when Mr Bachchan became associated with the brand, he wasn't aware that it falls under surrogate advertising. Mr Bachchan has terminated the contract with the brand, has written to them his termination and has returned the money received for the promotion," the post read.
NOTE had, in September, 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. On his decision to withdraw from the campaign, President of NOTE and Goa-based oncologist, Shekhar Salkar, said, "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.â€ť
"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.