The State Tobacco Control Cell on Friday cancelled a talent show for children sponsored by the biscuit division of a tobacco company, on the grounds that it violated the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Distribution Act (COTPA).

The COTPA makes unlawful any advertisement, direct or surrogate of any brand associated with tobacco. The ‘ITC – Sunfeast Milky Magic All Rounder' show, had raised suspicion by specifying that ITC could use pictures, voice and films of the winners for ‘media coverage, advertisement, or publicity in any form, which is existing today or will be known anytime in the future without any consideration to the winner.'

According to officials at the State Tobacco Control Cell, the fear was that such a blanket pre-show agreement might result in children (4th to 9th} standards) being used as ambassadors for ITC's tobacco products too.

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