CONFERENCE PROCEEDING
Community participating ‘smoke free zones’ against second hand smoking in Sri Lanka; present and future
 
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1
Ministry of Health, Nutrition and Indigenous Medicine, Colombo, Sri Lanka
2
National Authority on Tobacco and Alcohol, Battaramulla, Sri Lanka
CORRESPONDING AUTHOR
Supun Lahiru Prakash   

Ministry of Health, Nutrition and Indigenous Medicine, Colombo, Sri Lanka
Publication date: 2021-09-02
 
Tob. Induc. Dis. 2021;19(Suppl 1):A95
 
KEYWORDS
ABSTRACT
Introduction:
Second-hand smoking (SHS) causes serious health consequences to the non-smoking men, women, and children all over the world. The National Authority on Tobacco and Alcohol of Sri Lanka has taken the initiative in carrying out the National program for establishing ‘SFZs’ for combating SHS in 2016.

Objectives:
The purpose of this study was to understand the current distribution of Smoke-Free Zones (SFZs), the enthusiasm of frontline health workers (Public Health Inspectors are the main coordinators of this project at the grass-root level) in establishing SFZs, and sustainability of them.

Methods:
Administratively, Sri Lankan health care delivery system is hierarchically divided into nine Provincial Directorates, 27 Regional Directorates (25 districts), and 357 Medical Officer of Health divisions. We gathered data on SFZs established during 2015 – November 2019 from the 27 Regional Directors for this study and analyzed against the districts. Minitab 14 statistical software and Microsoft Excel 2010 were used in statistical analyses and graphical presentation.

Results:
There were 253 SFZs established in 102 Medical Officer of Health divisions in 20 districts of nine provinces during the study period. The highest number of SFZs was established in 2018 (95) followed by 2019 (63), 2016 (55), and 2017 (35). The lowest number of SFZs was established in 2015 (5). Ninety-six percent (96%) of SFZs are sustained up to the data collection date.

Conclusion(s):
The project was initiated in only 29% of all Medical Officer of Health divisions in Sri Lanka. The yearly distribution of the number of SFZs showed an increase up to 2018 and a decline in 2019, yet the number is higher than in 2015, 2016, and 2017. However, they have maintained higher sustainability. Therefore, necessary steps should be taken to further spread this concept to new areas in order to protect non-smokers from SHS.

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