Exposure to on-screen (portrayal of tobacco use in media) tobacco use has been shown to be one of the factors influencing initiation of tobacco use by youth. Media rating system is one of the tool to reduce exposure of youth to on-screen tobacco use. There was a proposal by Central Board for Film Certification (film certification authority in India) to possibly rate films with portrayal of tobacco use as ‘A’ (only for adult viewing) films, in order to reduce its exposure to youth.
IPH carried out a study among youth in Karnataka (including students from metropolitan city, towns and villages) to assess awareness and enforcement of current media rating system. Study findings suggested poor re of viewership restrictions as prescribed by prevailing media rating system. Study also provided data on various aspects of tobacco use and its association with exposure to on-screen tobacco use among youth. This study was funded by the World Health Organisation (India). Publications from the study are in progress.
Following an initial exploratory and small study by IPH on tobacco use among pre-university students, a large-scale cross sectional study using a random sample of 19 pre-university colleges across the Bangalore city was planned for better and representative assessment.
Various aspects related to tobacco use including, prevalence of tobacco use, social perceptions of tobacco use/user, factors influencing initiation/continuation of tobacco use, implemettaion of relevant policies etc. were studied. This study was carried out under ISEC-SRTT visiting fellowship programme by Institute for Social & Economic Change, Bangalore. Publications from this study are in progress. A research brief was produced summatising the study findings and was distributed among city based pre-university colleges. Study findings were reported in several news reports.
Most studies on youth and tobacco use in India (including Global Youth Tobacco Surveys) focsues on high-school students (grades 8, 9 and 10). In Karnataka, pre-university education (grades 11, 12) is imparted through a seperate governmanet department and often in different settings than high-schools. This phase of life represents a transition of student from relatively more restricted school setting to liberal university setting. In order to understand tobacco use and related factors among pre-university students, IPH carried out an exploratory cross sectional study among 500 students of a purposely selected pre-university college in Bangalore city. Study provided findings on tobacco use prevalence, reasons for (non) use of tobacco by students, awareness on tobacco harms, information sources for such awareness etc.
Study findings were published in the National Medical Journal of India and were subsequently disseminated through mass media reports. For more details, please see relevant publications and news reports.
Awareness to Action through Multi-Channel Advocacy for Effective Tobacco Control” in Karnataka. This project is funded through Bloomberg Initiative for tobacco control project of HRIDAY (Health Related Information and Dissemination Among Youth) and is simultaneously done in other four Indian states by different agencies.
In Karnataka, IPH is working in collaboration with Gramin Shikshan Charity Foundation to implement the project in five intervention and two control districts. Project aims to advocate for and build capacity of district level law enforcement officers and NGOs for effective tobacco control.
Various activities including state and district level need assessment (of govt officers and NGOs) and pre-compliance monitoring exercises have been undertaken. There will be district level training workshops and various advocacy activities before we do post-compliance monitoring exercises.
A signature campaign was launched by IPH to engage with and garner support for a petition demanding withdrawal of Indian Tobacco Board’s sponsorship to Global Tobacco Networking Forum, a tobacco industry event scheduled to be held in Bangalore in October 2010. Signatures were collected from students at various schools/colleges as well as form health professionals at various social events including the national meeting of Advocacy Forum on Tobacco Control (AFTC). Campaign was supported by two AFTC member NGOs (Pasumai Thayyagam and Gramin Shikshan Charity Foundation) from Bengaluru city and other parts of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. In total, campaign led to collection of more than 33,000 signatures. As part of the campaign, an online petition was also launched and disseminated using emails and social media like Facebook and Twitter.
Prevalence of tobacco use among adolescents in India is very high. Despite many epidemiological studies exploring tobacco use among youth, there is no published data on adolescents’ perceptions about smokers in Indian society and its implications on tobacco control.
Article type Research article
Authors : Upendra M Bhojani,Maya A Ellias,Devadasan N