Sidhwani meets Ambika Soni over smoking ban in movies

New Delhi: Producer Ritesh Sidhwani, whose film `Don 2` shows Shah Rukh Khan smoking onscreen, today met Information and Broadcasting minister Ambika Soni to discuss the matter ahead of film`s December 23 release.

The government has imposed stricter rules on smoking scenes in films and television.

A recent notification by the Union Health ministry to the producers says they should put a disclaimer along with the lead character speaking about the ill-effects of smoking. It also demands that the scenes where the character is shown smoking should be scrolled down or blurred.

Sidhwani, who is co-producing the film along with Farhan Akhtar and Shah Rukh Khan, says they can only put the disclaimer in the beginning of the movie as blurring the images would distract the audience.

"We all are responsible people and understand that we put these scenes to glorify our character in the film. The character played by Shah Rukh Khan is snooty and without these props we won`t be able to do justice with the character.

"If we scroll down or blur the character in the middle of the film it will be distracting for our audience because people know `Don` is all about all these stylish things. We think by showing them we are not violating any norms," Sidhwani told reporters.

The 39-year-old producer said his meeting with Soni was interesting and positive.

The ministry had first banned smoking scenes in films in 2005 but the Delhi High Court had overturned it on a PIL filed by filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt.

PTI