Increasing smoke free public places & creating tobacco free educational institutions
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Voluntary Health Association of India, India
Publication date: 2018-03-01
Tob. Induc. Dis. 2018;16(Suppl 1):A699
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Background and challenges to implementation:
Second Hand Smoking, early age of initiation of tobacco use and the lack of awareness regarding the Cigarette & Other Tobacco Products Act (COTPA), 2003 amongst the community are among the key challenges in tobacco control and health promotion.

Intervention or response:
In order to educate and empower the community and to initiate a systematic streamline and administrative mechanism & to gauge public opinion regarding awareness of the law and implementation of smoke free rules, a compliance survey on Section 4 & 6 of COTPA was conducted. The interventions included engaging with key stakeholders - District Administration, Community, Media, Village Council Institutions, Education Department, Health Department, Home Department and volunteers; sensitization and capacity building & awareness building campaigns. This was aimed to ensure ownership and sustainability of the cause. Technical support and guidance was extended to the govt. administration to institutionalize the enforcement mechanism. A post-intervention survey was also conducted by an independent agency to evaluate progress and monitor changes, if any.

Results and lessons learnt:
Post-interventions the compliance in Budgam district (J&K state), went up from 14.8% to 91%, in Srinagar (J&K state), from 43.3% to 80%, in Golaghat (Assam), from 7.6% to 42%, in Jagatsinghpur (Orissa), from 23.3% to 96%, in Jhunjhunu (Rajasthan), from 5.6% to 78% and in Shahjahanpur (Uttar Pradesh), from 1.6% to 88%. Other results were Tobacco Free Educational Institutions' declaration in five districts by the Department of Education and a strong enforcement mechanism set up in 8 districts in 5 settings. The Department of Education in Golaghat Assam & Budgam, J&K declared all education institutions as Tobacco Free Institutions. Multi-sectoral approach, multi-stakeholder engagement and community ownership was key in ensuring sustainability which was important to ensure significant progress in the project.

Conclusions and key recommendations:
There was a variance in the success and progress across the 10 districts due to different socio-political and administrative factors.

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