The 5th National Workshop on Tobacco Control, held in JIPMER from 26th August to 30th August 2019, was attended by IPH researchers, Riddhi Dsouza, Vivek Dsouza, and Adhip Amin. Three major themes were addressed in the Workshop. First, the history and politics of WHO’s Framework Convention of Tobacco Control (FCTC) where India is a signatory. The architecture, implementation, and consequences on tobacco consumption, of the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act, 2003 (COTPA) — and the relationship between the FCTC and COTPA. Second, the basic principles of epidemiology in relation to tobacco use was covered. Furthermore on quantitative analysis, the second round of the Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS), in the context of India, was discussed. Third, the behavioral and psychological component of tobacco addiction — and strategies for tobacco cessation — was also reviewed.
The director at IPH, Dr. Upendra Bhojani, delivered a lecture on the endgame strategies for tobacco control; what are the levers, mechanisms, and ideas, that can enable policy and law to generate a tobacco free generation. The point was also made that values are important in tobacco policy — how one approaches tobacco control will differ regarding a person’s moral and political philosophy — which we must acknowledge and respect.
centre organized an inaugural workshop, inviting researchers and advocates for the
launch of the SARC-CCT on 15-18th July 2019, in Colombo. On invitation,
the Institute of Public Health, Bengaluru (IPH) was represented & actively participated
in the workshop.
Asian region has some shared history and common challenges of tobacco control
and also offers some unique positive examples (Bhutan, Sri Lanka and India
among others) to the world. This event was a key
gathering of experts, which highlighted the unique insights that SAARC nations can offer in
terms of tobacco control and the importance of close collaboration with other
countries in the region.
Dr. Upendra Bhojani, India Alliance Fellow and Director at IPH, was
invited to participate in a Roundtable discussion hosted by Observer Research Foundation (ORF) and World Health Organization, India in Delhi on the 26th July 2019.
The roundtable discussion was attended by subject experts, bureaucrats and
researchers from Mumbai, Chennai, Hyderabad, Bengaluru and Delhi.
While urbanization offers opportunities for growth and
development, it poses unique challenges for health and health governance. Acknowledging
health as a key component of urban planning and governance by policymakers is
an important step to visualize and translate sustainable urban development into
action. Themes that were broadly discussed over the course of the day include:
The need to strengthen and rationalise existing urban primary health
structures in the context of Ayushman Bharat.
The need for strong financial governance to help minimise
underutilisation of funds.
Lack of effective Monitoring, Surveillance and Accountability systems
among diverse stakeholders.
“Tobacco-free generation” is a proposal wherein children born after a certain year grow up in tobacco free environments, with legislation in place restricting exposure, sale and use of tobacco for that generation. This is potentially a very powerful intervention, that is progressive and strategic in achieving tobacco control. It has been proposed and implemented to various extents in a few countries, including Tasmania and Netherlands. As a strategy it is feasible as it is aimed at overcoming defects with current youth access laws.
Alliance Fellow and Director at IPH, published a video as a part of a 2-day
National Consultation by Generation
Saviour Association (GSA), The Union
and Post Graduate Institute
of Medical Education & Research (PGIMER),
Chandigarh on date
that explains his views on this topic. He explains the issue and argues for its
social, economic and national importance, while shedding light on the ethical
issues that can arise in the context of such interventions.
The video has been uploaded to YouTube and is available for viewing here:
The MPOWER package
is a package introduced by WHO, comprising of six measures to assist in country-level
implementation of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control. One of the
six components of the MPOWER package is “Offer help to quit tobacco use.”
users are aware of the risks, but require support to overcome addiction or dependence
on the substance. It is recommended that support for tobacco cessation should
also lie with health-systems, where programs for tobacco cessation should be
incorporated and embedded into primary health care services, with health care
providers acting as advocates for tobacco control.
Dr. Upendra Bhojani serves as a guide for Rachana Shah (Government Dental College and Hospital, Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India) on her work on how to integrate tobacco cessation support with the help of health professionals as a part of routine primary care. This project shifts the focus from tobacco cessation centres to healthcare providers as playing an important role in delivering such services.
doctoral proposal examines the role of oral health professionals (OHP) and the
experiences and expectations of dental patients in the context of tobacco
cessation (TC) services. The protocol of her doctoral study titled “Integrating
tobacco cessation into routine dental practice: protocol for a qualitative
study” was recently published in
BMJ Open, linked here.
IPH Faculty and Wellcome Trust DBT India Alliance research fellows Upendra Bhojani and Pragati Hebbar attended the 9th Annual Fellows’ Meet in Bengaluru from June 13 – 15th 2019. The annual fellows meet serves as a platform to bring together India Alliance Fellows and other grant recipients from prestigious research institutes together to foster collaboration, support and exchange of ideas across a wide range of research areas.
Both Pragati and Upendra presented their work during the first year of their fellowships through scientific poster sessions. Upendra Bhojani was invited to present his work and research supported by India Alliance during this meet. Upendra gave a talk titled “Commercial Determinants of health: the political economy of tobacco in India”, available for viewinghere.
Given the present focus on and the growing concern of
the role of corporations in promoting products and choices that are mass produced
and are in general detrimental to health, Upendra’s talk was relevant and well-received.
At the Fellows meet, new committee members were introduced. Wellcome Trust and DBT India Alliance also launched new grant opportunities such as the Team Science Grants and grants to establish virtual Clinical/Public Health Research Centres, in order to provide a platform for collaborating and strengthening important research initiatives in India.