Strengthening National Tobacco Control Program (NTCP) to advance tobacco control (TC) policy in Uttar Pradesh (UP)
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Voluntary Health Association of India, India
Publication date: 2018-03-01
Tob. Induc. Dis. 2018;16(Suppl 1):A637
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Background and challenges to implementation:
Government of India launched NTCP in 2007-08 to create awareness about ill-effects of tobacco, enforcement of Cigarette and other Tobacco Product Act (COTPA) and regulate tobacco consumption. It was launched in two districts of U.P. in 2011 and has gradually been increased to cover all the 75 districts.
The State Tobacco Control Cell (STCC) is responsible for overall planning, implementation and monitoring of different activities, and achievement of physical and financial targets planned in State programme.
Voluntary Health Association of India (VHAI) initiated work in tandem with STCC to remove bottlenecks, namely -
· Low priority of TC
· Lack of awareness on COTPA amongst bureaucrats of key departments
· Inactive Inter-departmental Coordination
· Ineffective and inadequate mass media campaign

Intervention or response:
To initiate inter-departmental dialogue and coordination VHAI team facilitated constitution and meeting of a Working Group under the Chairmanship of Director General- Health with representatives from departments like Food&Drug, Police, Education, Municipal Corporation, Panchayati Raj, NGOs, Medical Colleges etc. VHAI worked in tandem with STCC and provided technical support in training of stakeholders, including District Staff of NTCP (District Coordinators, Social Worker and Psychologist). Technical expertise was also extended to the District Tobacco Control Cell of 6 cities for their on-going and upcoming activities. A mass media strategy was designed for NTCP and sample designs of Resource Kit, Poster, COTPA booklet etc. were shared. High level commitment was sought from political leaders as well as media houses.

Results and lessons learnt:
An inter-departmental working group is now active that coordinates and streamlines enforcement of COTPA. IEC material designed by VHAI has been appreciated and adopted by the state and STCC has recognized VHAI as a technical support agency for future.

Conclusions and key recommendations:
Providing technical assistance to strengthen NTCP and address gap areas of STCC has improved impact of TC initiatives of Health and key departments.