Faculty and staff from the Cluster on Chronic Health Conditions & Public Policy at the Institute of Public Health (IPH) Bengaluru attended the 6th National Conference on Tobacco or Health (NCTOH) organized by the International Institute of Health Management Research (IIHMR), Delhi. The conference witnessed participation from representatives of government agencies, academia, civil-society organizations, and individuals working on tobacco control and public health research.
Dr. Upendra Bhojani, Faculty IPH Bengaluru and DTB/Wellcome Trust India Alliance Senior Fellow presented a couple of paper and a poster in the conference. These presentations dealt with ‘gender and tobacco’ as well as findings from his DBT/Wellcome Trust India Alliance intermediate fellowship work: the “Deciphering Epidemic of Epic Proportion” (DEEP) project (2018-2023). Recognizing the unique approach and methods used in the DEEP project as well as the long-standing work in tobacco control, the conference organizers conferred a “champions award” to IPH Bengaluru for its significant contributions for tobacco control.
Mr. Anand Kumar, a Research Officer at the IPH Bengaluru presented a paper based on the findings from the DEEP project that dealt with the role of tobacco businesses in public policy over time in Indian states. Dr. Lathadevi Chilgod of IPH Bengaluru presented about lessons from the Anusthana project – a DBT/Wellcome Trust India Alliance Early Career Fellowship awarded to Dr Pragati Hebbar (2018-2023) – about co-production of knowledge about tobacco control amongst diverse actors. She also presented a poster based on the findings from the DEEP project on concerns of Indian parliamentarians about tobacco over 1990-2017 period.
Dr. Ketki Shah, a doctoral student with the IPH Bengaluru and the Trans-Disciplinary University of Health Sciences and Technology presented a poster about an integrative review of literature about factors shaping livelihood choices of workers in tobacco sector.
The conference also featured an art exhibit “Tobacco & Society” featuring six pencil-on-paper drawings by Dr. Upendra Bhojani locating tobacco use within historical and socio-cultural contexts. The exhibit engaged several delegates on issues related to tobacco use and control and received appreciation.
IPH Bengaluru staff participated in several conference sessions and networked with delegates across various institutions and states. On the whole, they had a wonderful opportunity to learn, network and contribute to tobacco control through this conference. We acknowledge the DBT/Wellcome Trust India Alliance fellowships awarded to Dr Upendra Bhojani (No. IA/CPHS/22/1/506533) and Dr Pragati Hebbar (No. IA/CPHI/22/1/506537) for supporting travel and participation of IPH Bengaluru staff in this conference.