Building support for the implementation of 85% GHW's through social media
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Voluntary Health Association of India, India
Publication date: 2018-03-01
Tob. Induc. Dis. 2018;16(Suppl 1):A749
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Background and challenges to implementation:
Graphic health warnings (GHWs) are an effective measure to warn tobacco users of the harm of tobacco use. GHWs on packaging of tobacco products is legally mandated as per India's national tobacco control legislation Cigarettes & Other Tobacco Products Act 2003. GHWs were notified on 15th October, 2014 & effective from 1st April, 2015 - pictorial warning to cover 85% area on both sides of tobacco packs. However the notification was kept in abeyance in March 2015, due to tobacco industry pressure.

Intervention or response:
Using social media to garner support for the implementation of 85 percent graphic health warnings. Used online & on-ground audience voices to reach out to the decisions makers, created awareness around 85% graphic health warnings on tobacco products. Communicated the missions of the campaign i.e., increase size of pictorial warnings (Save Lives, Increase the size), used the voice of a cancer victim to lead the campaign (petition), online petition + supported by on ground activation to reach the youth, connected with influencers/groups across different fields to gain more support for petition, used creative graphics to attract audience attention & created connect and emphasized on need to have larger warnings, straight from the public's voice.

Results and lessons learnt:
Intensive social media campaign on picture health warnings resulted in 38,735 people signing the online petition on and 30,000 on-ground signatures from youth and public. The social reach was around 5,759,331people.

Conclusions and key recommendations:
Social media campaigns is also becoming one of the tool to gain support from larger audience and are among the most effective ways to warn about the dangers of tobacco use and to create support for tobacco control policies.

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