Dr. Pragati Hebbar (PhD Scholar) | Institute of Public Health Bengaluru

Dr. Pragati Hebbar has started her PhD in September 2019 and is registered at the School CAPHRI Care and Public Health Research of Maastricht University, Netherlands. She is guided by Prof. Gera Nagelhout (Maastricht University), Prof. Constant ‘Onno’ van Schayck (Maastricht University), Prof. Giridhar Babu (Indian Institute of Public Health) and Dr. Upendra Bhojani (Institute of Public Health, Bengaluru). She is currently pursuing a DBT/Wellcome Trust India Alliance early career fellowship under which this research is situated. During the PhD she plans to study the implementation of select tobacco control policies in India specifically to explain the facilitators and barriers of implementation in various contexts. She will be using a realist evaluation approach and through detailed case studies and regional consultations develop and refine program theories that explain implementation. 

Implementation research for taking tobacco control policy interventions to scale in India

Tobacco kills approximately eight million people globally and over one million adults in India each year. In India, a comprehensive tobacco control law – the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act (COTPA), 2003 exists. However, implementation remains varied and suboptimal. COTPA has worked in some places/contexts/settings and not in others. From a policy and implementation perspective, it is crucial to systematically understand how and why the implementation of this law has occurred the way it did. By undertaking this study, we will improve our knowledge of implementing effective tobacco control policies (TCPs) as well as identify system-wide implementation bottlenecks that could affect other sectors like pharmaceutical/food. We aim to study the implementation of COTPA and national tobacco control law and explain the why and the how of its implementation across Indian states.