Mobile app to identify gaps in implementation and provide evidences for effective policy change
 
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Mary Anne Charity Trust-MACT, India
Publication date: 2018-03-01
 
Tob. Induc. Dis. 2018;16(Suppl 1):A48
 
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ABSTRACT
Background and challenges to implementation:
Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act (COTPA), 2003 is a robust tobacco control act of India. However, with the presence of bureaucratic system, the general public does not have an effective tool to report tobacco control violations or acquire support to practice tobacco control in their lives or that of the community. Also there was no system in place which could provide real time field based on which the Public Health Care could investigate and advocate for policy change.

Intervention or response:
In order the fill the gap between the General Public and the Government; and to also provide field based evidences to the Government; Mary Anne Charity Trust (MACT) developed the android based mobile application called Tobacco Monitor. It is an open source mobile application wherein a person can acquire information about the latest happenings related to tobacco eradications, regulations and cessation and also give complaints on tobacco related violations.
Any request for support or complaint is processed by the Tobacco Monitor Team.sent to the concerned Government Authority.

Results and lessons learnt:

· More than 500 individuals across 13 states of India are using this app
· Reviewed complaints have been reported to the respective government. The State Government of Tamil Nadu and Punjab have considered the complaints reported and directed the district authorities to take action on the complaints.
· Used as an awareness tool for sensitizing public about the types of violations related to tobacco
The app works well in urban cities where there is a presence of Internet Services. The time taken to decentralize information is largely reduced. It is a success among the young adults since the process of reporting becomes easier. The complaints ensure that real time issue are brought to the Government's view.

Conclusions and key recommendations:
Tobacco Control with the support of mobile technology becomes expedite, efficient and effective.

eISSN:1617-9625