Smoking Law Could Hit Popular Cartoons

by Jenny Novac on September 4, 2012

A new law that bans smoking images on TV before 11 p.m. reached the classic “Nu, Pogodi” and “Cheburashka” cartoons. According to the report, the cartoons should be edited in order to remove smoking scenes. Lovers of Soviet-era cartoons will enjoy no more the original scenes from cartoons.

Nu Pogodi Smoking Scenes

Smoking scenes from a Russian cartoon “Nu Pogodi” will be removed under the new smoking law

Broadcasters say that smoking characters from these cartoons could get a scolding of a new regulation intended to defend children from exposure to drinking and smoking.

Alexei Kotyonochkin, who controlled two recent series of “Nu, Pogodi” and is the son of the cartoon’s creator, condemned the idea of re-editing the episodes.

Nu Pogodi Smoking Scene

Smoking Wolf in “Nu Pogodi” cartoon

He said that he does not approve the attempt to edit the Russian cultural heritage, which without doubt includes ‘Nu, Pogodi!’.

He added that the new regulation is a signal of the end of an era.

Alexei Kotyonochkin wrote on his LiveJournal blog: “Well, Wolf, you old smoker, goodbye. … You lived a worthy life, 40-plus years. Millions of children laughed thanks to you. You brought smiles and joy”.

Nu Pogodi Smoking Wolf

Wolf smoking a cigar

An anonymous person at TMK-Media, which possesses the rights to “Nu, Pogodi,” said that the episodes in which the character Wolf smokes would have to be removed or the cartoon would estimate as “adult programming,” which can be seen only after 11 p.m. in accordance with the regulation.

However, not everybody worries about the future of well-known Russian cartoons and how the new regulation, which become operational on September 1, would affect the popular children’s cartoons.

Cheburashka Smoking Scene

Smoking scene from “Cheburashka” cartoon

An official at VGTRK said the state media holding hadn’t adopted a resolution about the time of broadcasting “Nu, Pogodi,” and the deputy director of the Federal Mass Media Inspection Service sad that the cartoon might be exempt by reason of its cultural value.

The “Nu, Pogodi” cartoon was created in 1969 and focuses on Wolf’s merry pursuit of Hare. “Cheburashka” has some smoking scenes with a crocodile named Gena.

While some criticize the measure to remove smoking scenes from much-loved cartoons, others consider it as an effective measure for those who arestrongly addicted to cigarettes.

In accordance with the WHO, 39% of Russian adults are smokers.

Scenes of smoking surely do not help the nation’s health, Natalya Toropova, program coordinator for the WHO’s Tobacco Control program in Moscow, commented.

“International practice demonstrates that similar measures do not cause any trouble and are approved in countries with strong anti-tobacco legislation,” she said.

The new rules, accepted in early 2011, establish age-appropriate rankings for TV programs.

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