Paving way for tobacco free schools towards building leadership and broader alliances for implementing tobacco control policy
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Pasumai Thaayagam Foundation, India
Publication date: 2018-03-01
Tob. Induc. Dis. 2018;16(Suppl 1):A639
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Strong empirical evidence indicates that students are easily lured to the addiction of tobacco product use. FCTC Article 16 requires for implementation measures prohibiting sales of tobacco products to minors, display indicators about the prohibition at the point of sale and no visible display of tobacco products. Indian law COTPA (The Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act, 2003) Section 6 prescribes ban on sale to and by minors, and bans sale of tobacco products within a radius of 100 yards of educational institutions. This is violated and tobacco products are sold near educational institutions.

Pasumai Thaayagam Foundation conducted a field study in March 2017, on compliance/violation of COTPA Section 6 in Chennai. Six wards were selected as random samples. The authors shared field tested questionnaire and gave orientation given to the field study team. 60 samples were included for the study in the three different areas. The study looked into the aspects of compliance of COTPA Section 6 and also patterns of violations were compiled with evidences.

Result revealed that there was no display of mandatory warning board stating' “sale of tobacco product prohibited here”. Tobacco products in violation of COTPA Section 6 were being sold near 58 education institutions out of the studied 60. There was no display of statutory warning board that “smoking here is an offence.” Both chewing form of tobacco and smoking form of tobacco products were available near those institutions. They were placed lucratively and conspicuously that could easily attract the children. Findings were used for informational briefing and advocacy with authorities of those institutions, and with health and education departments.

For ensuring stringent implementation of tobacco control policies broader alliance building is essential. For which tapping and documenting the lapses need to be scientific and evidence based.

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