Document Type : Progress of Tobacco Control in South-East Asia Region (Special Issue)
Advocate and tobacco control legal expert, India.
Regional Data Coordinator, TFI, WHO SEARO, India.
Regional Advisor, Tobacco-Free Initiative, Regional Office for the South-East Asia, World Health Organization, India.
Unit Head, No Tobacco, WHO HQ, Switzerland.
One of the important factors contributing to tobacco epidemic is tobacco advertising, promotion, and sponsorship (TAPS). TAPS is employed by tobacco industry to increase demand for its products, often through targeting specific groups or market segments. The World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC) recommends implementation of comprehensive bans on TAPS as part of an effective set of tobacco control policies. Article 13 of the WHO FCTC and its guidelines mandate a comprehensive ban on all TAPS. Besides, TAPS ban is one of the MPOWER strategy and is included in the ‘Best Buys’ for effective tobacco control. However, many countries, especially low-income and middle-income countries, primarily implement only partial TAPS bans, allowing the tobacco industry to directly or indirectly advertise and promote its products via multiple media. This review article analyzes the current state of affairs in respect of TAPS in India and Indonesia, the two of the largest countries in the WHO South-East Asia Region of the world, and discusses the way forward to address the identified gaps in TAPS ban policy formulation and implementation focusing on strengthening its compliance and enforcement at the country level.