Is ban on smokeless tobacco products effective in controlling the menace: a case study from Punjab, India
 
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1
State Tobacco Control Cell, Department of Health and Family Welfare, India
2
Indian Administrative Services, Department of Health and Family Welfare, India
3
Directorate Health and Family Welfare, Department of Health and Family Welfare, India
Publish date: 2018-03-01
 
Tob. Induc. Dis. 2018;16(Suppl 1):A50
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ABSTRACT
Background and challenges to implementation:
Oral cancers incidence in India is very high, which is attributable to the widespread habit of chewing tobacco. In 2011, Rule 2.3.4 under Food Safety and Standards Act (FSSAI), 2006 prohibited the use of tobacco and nicotine as ingredients in any food product. Though ban has been in place, there is a lack of evidence regarding enforcement & implementation on ground level. The objective of the study was to assess the effectiveness of implementation of ban on smokeless tobacco products in Punjab.

Intervention or response:
The present study was conducted in the period of June 2016 to Dec 2016 in Punjab. In 2012, Commissioner Food and Drug Administration imposed a ban on Smokeless tobacco (SLT) products in the entire Punjab State. In 2016, revised notification issued by Commissioner Food and Drug Administration, imposing a complete ban on Flavored/Scented chewable tobacco. Every month it was mandatory to take five samples of Flavored/Scented chewable tobacco by the Food Safety Officers (FSOs). After that samples were tested in the state food lab and court cases were launched against the failed samples by the Food Safety Officers under FSSAI.

Results and lessons learnt:
Total 204 samples of SLT products were taken by FSO's from June 2016 to December 2016. Out of which 92 samples failed in lab testing. 32-court case have been launched by Food Safety Officers against vendors from where these failed samples were collected under FSSAI

Conclusions and key recommendations:
Strict implementation of ban on Smokeless tobacco products has yielded results in the form of decreased availability. A national ban should be there to stop the inter-state smuggling of smokeless tobacco products.

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