National Conference on Tobacco or Health

The fourth edition of the ‘National Conference on Tobacco or Health’ concluded recently in Mumbai (8-10 February 2019). It saw a range of stakeholders across Indian states coming together in what the conference’s organizing secretary described as the “Kumbh Mela” of tobacco control. The Institute of Public Health (Bengaluru) had a strong presence at the conference, attended by Upendra Bhojani, Faculty and India Alliance Fellow, and his team, Aparna Vincent and Amiti Varma. Upendra served as a co-chair for the pre-conference and presented on ‘research ethics’ as part of a pre-conference workshop on research priorities for tobacco control in India. Apart from chairing a couple of sessions in the conference, he presented on the politics of tobacco and on tobacco industry interference, including in the closing plenary of the conference. Amiti presented on behalf of Pragati Hebbar (IPH faculty and India Alliance Fellow) on studying the implementation of tobacco control laws in India.

The NCTOH has been an important platform for individuals and organizations working on tobacco control across all of India to come together, and the 4th NCTOH was equally enriching and productive.