Awareness and compliance to anti-smoking law in South Bengaluru, India
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National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences, (NIMHANS), Bengaluru, India
Pradeep S. Banandur   

National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences (NIMHANS), 560029 Bengaluru, India.
Publication date: 2017-09-14
Submission date: 2016-10-24
Final revision date: 2017-07-01
Acceptance date: 2017-08-21
Tob. Prev. Cessation 2017;3(September):123
Tobacco smoke affects the health of non-smokers by exposure to second-hand smoke (SHS). The Indian Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products (COTPA) Act 2003 Section 4 aims to reduce exposure to SHS. Awareness and compliance to COTPA are key to achieving its intended outcome. We assessed: a) awareness among persons responsible for compliance (PRC) and authorized officers (AO), and b) compliance of public places to COTPA in South Bengaluru, India.

A cross-sectional assessment of public places in South Bengaluru was conducted using time-location sampling. The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health’s observational and interview checklist was used to assess compliance of public places to COTPA and awareness of COTPA among PRC/AO, respectively.

Among 359 public places, one-third of the public places showed complete (1.9%) or partial compliance (28.1%). The majority (93%) of the PRCs and all AOs were aware of COTPA. However, they lacked information on the different provisions of the Act. Violations like persons smoking (3.9%), visible ashtrays (6%) and cigarette butts (13%) were noted more among eateries compared to other public places. Among those public places supposed to have designated smoking-areas, only 19% complied.

This is the first representative survey of awareness and compliance of COTPA in Bengaluru City. Low compliance, coupled with the lack of appropriate awareness among PRCs and AOs about COTPA, demands a comprehensive strategy to enhance awareness. Comprehensive efforts towards making all stakeholders understand the health impacts of smoking, and strict enforcement, might facilitate effective implementation of COTPA.

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