sample abstract - the 46th Union World Conference on Lung Health

Abstract N.29
Photographic evidence can strengthen tobacco control
Photographic evidence can strengthen tobacco control interventions
Public health practice
Tobacco control
Background – In India, the tobacco law states that direct or indirect advertisements of tobacco products are prohibited
under section 5 of the 2003 COTPA Act. Nonetheless, tobacco companies continue to market their products outside
points of sale using backlit billboards, stickers, and posters. According to the Global Adult Tobacco Survey in 2010, in
Rajasthan, 28.4% of adults were aware of advertisements for cigarettes, 47% for bidis and 54.7% for smokeless tobacco.
Until recently, the COTPA Act had not been enforced because District Tobacco Control Committees (DTCC) didn’t exist.
Intervention- Population Services International conducted a series of meetings with health officials and the District Collector
in order to raise awareness of non-compliance with the COPTA Act. PSI officials took photographs of 177 point of sale
advertisements from 33 different market places in Udaipur City, which were submitted to the District Collector who is also
Chairman of the new DTCC. Upon receipt of the photographic evidence, the District Magistrate and Collector of Udaipur
conducted a meeting with tobacco distributors to issue directives for compliance with the law. Under Section 5 of the Act,
distributors were directed to remove all tobacco advertising from points of sale in Udaipur. Despite this effort, PSI officials
observed that very few tobacco shop advertisements had been removed. PSI again took and shared photographs of the
points of sale with the District Collector to alert him to the Section 5 violations. The District Collector again conducted a
meeting with the tobacco industry officials with their legal advisor. The District Collector strictly ordered them to remove all
advertisement boards from all points of sale in Udaipur. The District Collector also formed an anti-tobacco squad and
directed the team to monitor and enforce points of sale in the Udaipur city.
Results: After a fifteen day period, more than 750 point of sale advertisements had been removed from the city. Most
large retailers have removed their advertisements.
Conclusion: Photographic evidence can be a useful tool in advocating for the enforcement of policies that help prevent
tobacco use.
Photographic evidence
Institutions and authors:
Institutions 1: Population Services International (PSI)
R Parmar
B Pandya
Institutions 2: International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease (The Union)
P Lal
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