Making hospitality sector of Kashmir Division smoke free - India
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Voluntary Health Association of India, India
Publication date: 2018-03-01
Tob. Induc. Dis. 2018;16(Suppl 1):A708
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Background and challenges to implementation:
Tourism is amongst the largest industries of Kashmir Division - 10 Million tourists annually. With over 120 million smokers in Jammu & Kashmir, exposure to Second Hand Smoke (SHS) is highest in India (67.8%). Smoking is culturally accepted and the stale smoke odour is trapped in closed carpeted homes and hotels. To protect locals and tourist from SHS, enforcement of Cigarette and Other Tobacco Products Act, 2003 Section 4, prohibiting smoking in all public places was strengthened.

Intervention or response:
All stakeholders in the Hospitality Sectors were mapped and sensitized - Policy makers, Government officials, Private Associations like
· Kashmir House Boat Owner's Association (KHBOA) - 900+ Houseboats
· Kashmir Hotel and Restaurants Association (KHARA) - 1200+ hotels and restaurants
· Kashmir Shikara and Taxi owner's Association - 1900+ Shikara (Boat Taxis) and Taxis
High level political leaders like Chief Minister and Minister of Tourism and Culture extended commitment. Orders were issued by General Manager, J&K Tourism Development and Secretary of KHOBA and KHARA. Executive members from unions/associations were sensitized. They launched COTPA implementation drives by issuing letter to all members, sensitizing them on need of compliance and printed over 5000 signages for members. This was followed by Self Declaration by Associations of COTPA compliance by all members. Regular media coverage was coordinated applauding their efforts. Funds have been allocated by association/unions to sustain these initiatives.

Results and lessons learnt:
Smoke Free Hospitality Sector of Kashmir Division (10 Districts) by Self Declaration.Behavior change and ownership via associations with over 4000 members was pivotal.

Conclusions and key recommendations:
For hospitality sector to prioritize public health over perceived tourist preference required time and persistence in intervention. Widespread distribution and large scale of the industry makes compliance monitoring difficult but the sense of pride amongst Associations of being Smoke Free has proven most effective to ensure compliance and sustainability.

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