Critical analysis of the tobacco control policies, challenges and opportunities for “Tobacco Endgame” in India
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National Health Mission, Shimla, Himachal Pradesh, India
Gopal Chauhan   

National Health Mission, Shimla, Himachal Pradesh, India
Publication date: 2021-09-02
Tob. Induc. Dis. 2021;19(Suppl 1):A132
Various ‘Tobacco Endgame’ strategies have been suggested to phase out tobacco. Reducing availability of tobacco products to younger age groups are the strong policy recommendations for tobacco endgame. GATS, 2017 shows significant reduction in tobacco use from 34.6% (2010) to 28.6% in India. There is remarkable decline of 54 % and 33 % in the tobacco use in the age group of 15-17 and 15-24 years respectively. The age of initiation has increased from 17.9 to 18.9 years. Youths (15-29 age groups) comprises 27.5% of Indian population. Youths are the potential target of tobacco industry and targeted interventions are needed to protect them.

Need for integrated and targeted interventions for protecting youths for achieving tobacco endgame.

The rationalist model by Carl V. Patton has been used for the policy analysis. The MPOWER policies, Indian Tobacco control laws (COTPA), National Tobacco Control Program (NTCP), Consumer Protection act, Food Safety act (FSSAI), Juvenile Justice act, Tobacco Vendors Licensing act, Municipalities act, Poison act and Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) guidelines are analyzed to explore the potential strategies for protecting youths from tobacco use.

MPOWER policies and COTPA provides restrictions on sale of tobacco near educational institutes. NTCP contains specific awareness activities for youth protection. Food Safety act prohibits sale and manufacture of smokeless tobacco. Consumer Protection act and Juvenile Justice act have the most stringent provisions to protect youths from tobacco. The CBSE has also issued guidelines to protect children from tobacco. Currently, these strategies are implemented in isolations. Despite minimal effort on youth protection, GATS results shows a huge decline in tobacco use among youths.

Currently, there is little attention on protecting youth from tobacco use in India. GATS - 2017 results are motivating in terms of huge reduction in tobacco use among youths.