CONFERENCE PROCEEDING
"Nico-teen free': A study on the compliance of cigarettes and other tobacco products Act (COTPA) section 6(b)
Atul Matthew 1  
 
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Mary Anne Charitable Trust, Tamil Nadu, India
CORRESPONDING AUTHOR
Atul Matthew   

Mary Anne Charitable Trust, Tamil Nadu, India
Publication date: 2021-09-02
 
Tob. Induc. Dis. 2021;19(Suppl 1):A257
 
KEYWORDS
ABSTRACT
Introduction:
In India, over 20 million children are addicted to tobacco, and every day 5,500 new children are addicted to tobacco. One of the many methods tobacco companies use to lure children into consuming tobacco products is by selling products near schools. Since the pulmonary and cranial development for adolescents isn't complete, the health ramifications for tobacco consumption is more severe compared to that of adults. Therefore the government of India passed the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act (COTPA) to regulate the trade, commerce, production, supply and distribution of tobacco products.

Objectives:
The objective of the study was to observe if shops in Chennai comply with the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act (COTPA) section 6 (b), regarding the sale of tobacco products within 100 yards of any educational institution.

Methods:
A list of schools was obtained from the Chennai Corporation website. Through random sampling method, 2 schools per zone were obtained for the study, giving a total of 30 schools for the study. Using a pedometer and GPS, shops within 100 metres of the school were identified. Shops selling tobacco products were identified by noticing products displayed for sale, observing the floor of the shop for cigarette butts/packaging for tobacco products, and also observing people buy and smoke products inside the shop.

Results:
In the 30 schools studied, the lowest number of shops within 100m of the school that sold tobacco products were 3 and the highest number of shops that sold tobacco products were 14. Adyar, Teynampet and Royapuram have the highest number of shops that sell tobacco products within 100m of schools, and Sholinganallur and Manali have the lowest. There is an average of 5 shops that sell tobacco products within 100 yards of educational institutions in Chennai. More than half of the schools observed (53%) had 5 or more than 5 shops within 100 yards selling tobacco products.

Conclusion(s):
The results show us that many stores in Chennai are not following the COTPA regulations. Having stores that sell tobacco products near schools can harm children by either introducing them to tobacco products or having smokers around the vicinity leading to passive smoking. The government should ensure the laws are being followed through strict implementation and reduce easy access to tobacco products for children as much as possible.

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