Integration of tobacco control programme in the government system for effective implementation across the state of Maharashtra
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Salaam Mumbai Foundation, Mumbai, India
Publication date: 2021-09-02
Corresponding author
Rajashree Kadam   

Salaam Mumbai Foundation, Nirmal Building, 1st Floor, Nariman Point, Maharashtra, Mumbai 400021, India
Tob. Induc. Dis. 2021;19(Suppl 1):A36
Tobacco use is a significant public health risk especially for rural adolescents and youth. India’s tobacco control law, the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act (COTPA 2003), imposes restrictions on the use of tobacco on school campuses and prohibits the sale of tobacco within 100 yards of school grounds. Salaam Mumbai Foundation (SMF) has been continuously working and advocating to get a tobacco-free environment for all children in the country.

Creating a sustainable tobacco control programme at mass level by integrating it through government system.

In 2007-08, SMF began a tobacco-free schools (TFS) initiative in rural Maharashtra. Awareness meetings were held with the Director of State Education and District Education Officers to build motivation and promote the TFS programme. In order to enforce COTPA at various levels in the community, SMF trained 14000 police functionaries and 90000 teachers in Maharashtra. As a result, SMF has been able to support 14400 schools in Maharashtra in achieving the tobacco-free school status.

Advocacy strategies have included integrating anti-tobacco messages in the state education curriculum from 5th to 10th std. State government also issued GR for making schools tobacco free. In Maharashtra around 2 crore children will be sensitized through school textbooks. The tribal development department also issued a government circular to make all schools, within their jurisdiction, tobacco-free. As part of this integration strategy, SMF has also conducted oath (pledge) activities and disseminated anti-tobacco messages at the gram sabha level. Recognizing this advocacy work, the Social justice ministry in the state has awarded SMF with the Mahatma Gandhi Vyasanmukti award in 2015.

In order to sustain this programme at mass level, anti-tobacco messages and activities need to be incorporated across the government system to make changes at large scale.

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