Protection from exposure to second hand SLT use in public places - spitting a public health concern or a public nuisance?
 
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National Institute of Cancer Prevention and Research (NICPR), WHO FCTC Global Knowledge Hub on Smokeless Tobacco, India
Publish date: 2018-03-01
 
Tob. Induc. Dis. 2018;16(Suppl 1):A707
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ABSTRACT
Background:
Until 1990, spitting was an offence in United Kingdom carrying a £5 fine. Spitting was also banned in other developed countries especially in Europe early in the 20th Century as a preventive measure against tuberculosis and later to maintain cleanliness. Several health experts consider spitting a public health concern and smokeless tobacco in all its forms induces spitting, thereby causing risk for communicable diseases like tuberculosis.

Methods:
A comprehensive review of existing literature on prohibition of spitting in public places was undertaken. Legislative and policy publications were reviewed for the reasons of such prohibition and punishments thereon.

Results:
Spitting has been considered a public inconvenience and a nuisance. Spitting of chewing and other smokeless tobacco stains and defaces public vehicles, buildings and other public property and is a public nuisance. In a scientific study done in India the most frequent cited reason for quitting tobacco use was spitting and ash dropping which was embarrassing in-front of others. Several states in India have banned spitting by law. Nepal has banned use of any kind of tobacco products in public places. Bhutan prohibits smearing lime and spitting doma in public area. Hangzhou- a province in China has banned spitting in public places. Countries like Singapore, Myanmar and Australia also have imposed ban on spiting in public and impose hefty fine for violation of the provisions.

Conclusions:
Several countries and cities have promulgated norms against spitting in public places, including spitting after SLT use. There is a need to undertake further research to study impact of spitting ban on SLT use.

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