Hey Popeye, drop the pipe!

If you thought it was only a certain former Indian minister who zealously wanted to put an end to smoking on screen, you’re wrong.

For a health group in the UK is trying to one up the ex-minister. Yes, it is planning to certify cartoons that have smoking scenes as 18+!

And, people are equally flabbergasted by the move like many across the world. “It’s quite funny to hear this because the cartoon Popeye single-handedly made spinach a craze in the US, and created awareness about healthy eating among youngsters. If you mention the word Popeye to any kid, I’m pretty sure a pipe will not figure even in the top five terms that they associate with the cartoon,” says software professional Nirmal Venkatranghan.

VJ Pooja, who is a self-confessed Popeye fan, says, “As a fan of Popeye, I can safely say that he doesn’t exactly smoke, in the truest sense of the word.” “Kids would not even notice the fact that a cartoon character is smoking. The creators of the characters are sure to turn in their graves. Steven Spielberg is currently directing a movie on Tintin. So, should he conceive Captain Haddock as a squeaky clean person sans liquor and cigar. If not, will it be certified as fit only for adults? This move is certainly, like Haddock would say, a ‘crackpot contraption’,” fumes college student Subalakshmi.

But, don’t cartoons hugely influence children? What about the numerous ads that use cartoon characters to target children? Says an advertising professional on condition of anonymity, “Yes, cartoons are influential. But that happens only when you use them for a product that caters to their needs. ”

Agrees a volunteer from an NGO that preaches against smoking, “These are actions being taken by a few over-zealous individuals who are misguided in their efforts to restrict cigarettes online buy” He also offers a constructive alternative, “Instead, governments across the world should use these cartoons constructively to preach about the evil effects of smoking to children.” Now, here is someone talking reason. But will the folks who matter listen?

source: timesofindia.indiatimes.com

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