Perceptions of permanent and contractual employees about a tobacco free workplace policy among four workplaces in Maharashtra, India
 
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1
Narotam Sekhsaria Foundation, India
2
Salaam Bombay Foundation, India
Publication date: 2018-03-01
 
Tob. Induc. Dis. 2018;16(Suppl 1):A340
 
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ABSTRACT
Background:
Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act, (COTPA) prohibits smoking in public places including indoor workplaces. Despite this, few workplaces in India have documented tobacco free workplace policies being implemented. The policy influences employees about their tobacco use behavior. However, before implementing such a policy, it is important to assess perceptions and readiness of employees.
A situational analysis survey was conducted among employees of four organisations to know their readiness about having a policy, their self-reported tobacco use and the need of counseling support to quit tobacco.

Methods:
A structured questionnaire was administered online to 447 permanent staff while face-to-face interviews were conducted among 281 contractual workers from August 2016 to March 2017.

Results:
Majority of permanent and contractual workers agreed that the organization should have a tobacco free policy and that it will have a positive impact on the employees' health. Equal proportion of permanent (55%) and contractual staff (54%) were aware of the existing rules and among them, 84% and 86% respectively were satisfied with them. 26% of permanent and 56% of contractual staff self-reported ever using some form of tobacco while 9% and 38% respectively reported current tobacco use (last 30 days). Fewer contractual (79%) as compared to permanent staff (89%) felt that some action should be taken against violation of the policy. Monetary fine and written warnings were suggested as action by majority from both groups. More contractual (98%) than permanent staff (84%) reported that there should be counseling service at the workplace for tobacco users.

Conclusions:
Both contractual and permanent employees endorsed the need for a tobacco free workplace policy with penal action for violations. However, the differences in tobacco use and perceptions towards the policy of these two groups have to be considered while implementing the policy and offering cessation services.

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