Tobacco Control Law Enforcement and Compliance in Odisha, India - Implications for Tobacco Control Policy and Practice


Introduction: Tobacco use is a leading cause of deaths and disabilities in India, killing about 1.2 lakh peoplein 2010. About 29% of adults use tobacco on a daily basis and an additional 5% use it occasionally. In Odisha,non-smoking forms are more prevalent than smoking forms. The habit has very high opportunity cost as it reducesthe capacity to seek better nutrition, medical care and education. In line with the WHO Framework Conventionon Tobacco Control (FCTC), the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act (COTPA) is a powerful Indiannational law on tobacco control. The Government of Odisha has shown its commitment towards enforcementand compliance of COTPA provisions. In order to gauge the perceptions and practices related to tobacco controlefforts and level of enforcement of COTPA in the State, this cross-sectional study was carried out in seven selecteddistricts. Materials and methods:A semi-structured interview schedule was developed, translated into Odiya andfield-tested for data collection. It mainly contained questions related to knowledge on provisions of section 4-7 ofCOTPA 2003, perception about smoking, chewing tobacco and practices with respect to compliance of selectedprovisions of the Act. 1414 samples were interviewed.
Results: The highest percentage of respondents was fromthe government departments. 70% of the illiterates consumed tobacco as compared to 34% post graduates.52.1% of the respondents were aware of Indian tobacco control laws, while 80.8% had knowledge about theprovision of the law prohibiting smoking in public places. However, 36.6% of the respondents reported that theyhad ‘very often’ seen tobacco products being sold ‘to a minor’, while 31.2% had seen tobacco products beingsold ‘by a minor’. In addition, 24.8% had ‘very often’ seen tobacco products being sold within a radius of 100yards of educational institutions.