Declaring schools tobacco free: protecting young generation to save Nation (multipronged coordinated interventions to declare 3517 schools tobacco free in Jharkhand state in India)
More details
Hide details
Government of Jharkhand, India
International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease, Tobacco Control, India
Socio Economic and Educational Development Society (SEEDS), India
Publication date: 2018-03-01
Tob. Induc. Dis. 2018;16(Suppl 1):A671
Download abstract book (PDF)

Background and challenges to implementation:
Tobacco Industry (TI) aggressively targets young children and adolescents as new recruits. The early age of initiation for TI assures tobacco usage for longer period. As per GATS 2010, of all ever daily tobacco users (age 20-34), almost 60% initiate tobacco use before age of 17.8. It calls for urgent intervension.
As per GATS 2010, Jharkhand state in India has one of the highest total prevalence rate as 50.01% against national average of 34.6%. This is disturbing.
Government of India enacted its tobacco control law i.e. Cigarette and Other Tobacco Product Act, 2003 (COTPA). It prohibits smoking in all public places including schools (section 4), forbids sale to and by minors (section 6-A) and bans sale of tobacco products within 100 yards of any educational institution (section 6-b).

Intervention or response:
3.5 million students of age 14 to 18 studying in 3517 schools in Jharkhand state were protected through multipronged coordinated interventions adopted by Director of School Education, SEEDS and The UNION, technical support partners to state Government. Massive awareness program was launched. All stake holders including DEOs, teachers, media, school management committee, parents, peer groups were made sensitive and responsible ensuring that
· No sale of tobacco products around 100 Yards of schools.
· No use of tobacco in schools
· Display of two warning signages mandated under section 4 and section 6(b).
Continuous monitoring of implementation process was the key. Strict actions were also taken.

Results and lessons learnt:
Visionary Zeal and regular personal monitoring resulted in high compliance of section 4 and section 6(b) ensuring 3517 Schools being declared tobacco-free in two years.

Conclusions and key recommendations:
Strategic, collaborative and multipronged coodinated intervention at school level results in reducing students´ exposure and their accessibility to tobacco products significantly. This minimizes chances of picking up this dangerous habit. It protects young generation. And, Protecting Young Generation means saving Nation.