Does Awareness on Tobacco Control Legislations Pertaining to Tobacco Sellers Lead to Compliance? – A Study from Chennai, India

Document Type : Research Articles


1 Department of Oral Medicine and Radiology, Faculty of Dental Sciences, Sri Ramachandra University, Chennai, India.

2 Department of Psycho-Oncology, Cancer Institute, Chennai, India.


Background: Tobacco Sellers (TS) are key stake holders in tobacco control and their compliance with the legislation is crucial to achieve the intended outcome. The current study was conducted to assess the awareness of the Cigarette and Other Tobacco Products Act (COTPA) among TS and their response. Methodology: TS (N=527) were randomly chosen from ten zones of Chennai city. A structured self-administered questionnaire was used to assess awareness and compliance regarding sections 4, 5 and 6. Results: Awareness of COTPA sections-4, 5, 6a, 6b among the TS was 42.0%, 31.0%, 69.3% and 57.2%, respectively, and 65.4% were of the opinion that the tobacco menace can be controlled through legislation. One fourth of the sellers reported that they were contemplating stopping selling tobacco and 13.4% had been requested by various people to stop doing so. The overall profit from tobacco sales was less than 10% for 58.1% of the sellers. There was no change in the sale trends of tobacco products and the smoking form of tobacco was reported to be highly sold (56.2%). Only 54.6% had displayed signboards mentioning the prohibition of smoking in public places as directed under section 4, and 90% of the sellers continued to supply accessories to smoker. In contravention of section-5, 85.6% continued to advertise tobacco in some form and total non-compliance with section-6a and 6b was observed. Conclusion: Awareness on tobacco control legislations among TS was found to be moderate. Furthermore, compliance with the COTPA was minimal.


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