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V.

TOBACCO CONTROL PROGRAMME


INTRODUCTION

Tobacco is the foremost preventable causes of the Death and disease in the world
today; it is a risk factor for 6 of the 8 leading causes of death. Tobacco use and
its consequences is the number one preventable killer globally. Almost half of
Cancer, Cardiovascular Diseases, Respiratory Diseases and many other diseases
are caused by Tobacco consumption. However the state of Sikkim was one of the
few states to have passed the “Sikkim Prohibition of Smoking and Non-Smokers’
Health Protection Act” in 1997, along with Union Territory of Delhi, Sikkim has
achieved a great height in short span of three years and is looked up as model state.
Sikkim has been declared as a smoke free State, the first state in India on the
occasion of World No Tobacco Day on 31st May 2010.

However, as per the study done, the scenario in August 2007 was a lot different
than what is seen today. People were seen smoking everywhere; no signages could
be seen in the public places and workplaces. Direct Observation of smoking at
peak activity times, aids for smoking such as ashtrays, matchboxes was plethora.
No clear enforcement and reporting mechanism was available. Smoking was
socially acceptable and many did not take any heed to this act. Media and civil
society support was not there since “smoking in public places” were not seen as a
crime as it is now but gradually things changed as enforcement of COPTA was
made strict.

Nevertheless, Sikkim still falls in the high prevalence zone. For this we need to
adopt comprehensive strategies and activities in order to maintain the status of
SMOKE FREE Sikkim and Smoke Free in Tobacco Control is very small
component. Sikkim is working towards effective implementation of all aspects of
Tobacco Control Act of India and also towards comprehensive Tobacco Control.
At present only two districts (East and South) is included under District Tobacco
Control Programme. However, activities are being undertaken in all four districts.
Support for State Tobacco Control Cell and two more districts (North and West)
are required. The state government is working towards a model for Tobacco
Control in India.
ENFORCEMENT OF COPTA AND THE BEST PRACTICES OF TOBACCO
CONTROL IN SIKKIM

Under the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act, the following enforcements
measures have been adopted:

 Smoking in public places is fully enforced.


 The signages are placed in all public places.
 Anyone found smoking is fined by a notified officer, including the person in
charge of the premises.
 Compliance of Tobacco Free laws made strict.
 Conduction of Awareness programme from the grass root level.
 School programs are conducted whereby awareness about harmful effects of
tobacco use is given to the students and the faculties.
 Special emphasis is given to the ban of tobacco sale in and around 100 yards
of the school premises.
 No smoking aids are visible in any public place.
 Conducting of raids throughout the state.
 Conducting of quarterly review meeting of all the nodal officers of various
departments and various institutions.

Such activities are being carried out throughout the state in order to
protect and promote healthy lifestyle and to maintain the status of
Smoke Free in Sikkim.

THE SPECIFIC COMPONENT OF TOBACCO CONTROL PROGRAM


INCLUDES:
i. Monitoring and implementation of Anti Tobacco Laws.
ii. IEC/Mass media campaign.
iii. School health programme.
iv. Training and capacity building for tobacco control.

SPECIFIC OBJECTIVES:

1. Monitoring mechanism and implementation of framework of the Tobacco


Control laws are essential tools to ensure that the Anti Tobacco laws are
effectively implemented. The partnership with civil society group such as
Women SHG, NGOs, ULBs and PRIs, and also creating awareness among
school teachers, health workers, law enforcers etc. would be the key to
sustainable action for effective implementation of the Act at grass root level.
States should be able to encourage creating monitoring and implementation
mechanism for the same.
2. IEC and mass media campaign be worked out with specific district level
interventions.
3. The school programme is aimed at creating awareness among the school
children/teachers regarding the harmful effects of tobacco usage and second
hand smoke, The awareness is also generated with respect of the
implementation of the law.
4. Training and capacity building program will target the school teachers,
health workers, law enforcers, women self help groups and civil society
organization etc. for tobacco control initiatives including implementation of
the law.