Tobacco legislation perception and barriers: A qualitative insight towards tobacco free schools in Delhi, India
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National Health Mission, Maulana Azad Institute Of Dental Sciences, New Delhi, India
Maulana Azad Institute Of Dental Sciences, New Delhi, India
Publication date: 2021-09-02
Corresponding author
Swati Jain   

National Health Mission, Maulana Azad Institute Of Dental Sciences, New Delhi, India
Tob. Induc. Dis. 2021;19(Suppl 1):A225
Soaring tobacco burden especially among youth is a major public health concern in India. Mean age of initiation of smoking is 18.7 years and prevalence of smoking in school children is 6.1% (Global Youth tobacco survey 2009). Tobacco related perceptions play an important role not only in ensuring abstinence but also compliance and implementation of legislation.

To provide a qualitative insight regarding tobacco legislation understanding and their implementation among school students and teachers.

Phenomenology type of qualitative research design was used among 144 subject of a Government School of Delhi selected through convenience sampling. The study tool was a structured, pre-validated, open-ended, self administered questionnaire, containing 3 sections: a) knowledge of tobacco and tobacco laws in India, b) perceived barriers and lacunae in implementation of these laws and c) their views regarding their role in implementing tobacco preventive strategies at school. Summative content analysis was conducted. Frequency distribution of the observed keywords was then analyzed using SPSS version 21.

Ninety eight school students (mean age 15 + 3.02 years) and 46 school teachers participated in the study. Every participant felt that “tobacco is dangerous to health” and affects the “quality of life”. However, only 23.6% (N= 34) were completely aware about the existent tobacco legislations in India. Almost three-fourth participants (N = 107) showed their concern regarding the deficit in strict implementation of these laws. Regarding responses pertaining to perceived barriers “lack of awareness (35.4%)” followed by “ignorant attitude towards tobacco impact on health and economics (25%)” were the most cited reasons. Majority (96.5%) were willing for active participation towards tobacco-free school campaigns after proper training.

The study highlighted the gap in awareness regarding tobacco control measures in spite of incessant efforts by Government. The key for changing the current scenario remains active participation by youth in policy making decisions.

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