Assessing point of sale violations in Delhi for strategic advocacy on TAPS ban
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Voluntary Health Association of India, India
Publication date: 2018-03-01
Tob. Induc. Dis. 2018;16(Suppl 1):A723
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Background and challenges to implementation:
The rules banning Point of Sale (PoS) Advertising under COTPA 2003 were stayed by Bombay High Court in 2005-6 and the Government of India did not make any particular efforts to get the stay vacated. In July 2013, in the matter of HFM Trust v/s Union of India and Ors., the Supreme Court vacated the stay on PoS and directed the Government of India to rigorously implement the Rules. The Health Ministry issued necessary directives to the State Governments to ensure steps are taken to curb PoS violations.

Intervention or response:
One year after the stay was vacated, VHAI decided to conduct a survey to assess status of PoS compliance in Delhi; methods and strategies of PoS advertising and whether minors have easy access to products. The sample size was 50 shops chosen from each city zone, with a total of 250 shops/outlets and the methodology involved observations and questionnaire.

Results and lessons learnt:
96.4% shops displayed PoS tobacco advertisements in varied forms. Implementation was found to be weak and ineffective. All major brands of smoking and smokeless tobacco were being advertised at points of sale. 60.8% shops did not have the top front board as specified. 50.4% boards had health warning but alongside other promotional messages, brand designs (only 36 shops had a warning board as per specifications) 94.4% shops had tobacco product display, visible and accessible to minors

Conclusions and key recommendations:
Urgent steps are required for effective implementation of PoS Rules across India as the industry despite a court order is using points of sale to advertise tobacco products through incentives and there is a need to capacitate and strengthen enforcement mechanism and to streamline a system of regular raids with penalties.

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