Consultancy project with the State Anti-Tobacco Cell

Dr. Upendra Bhojani, co-authored a paper in the BMJ Global Health, along with Amiti Varma & Latha Chilgod of the Institute of Public Health, Bengaluru. This is the first peer-reviewed paper from the DEEP project titled “Diverse and competing interests around tobacco: qualitative analysis of two decades of parliamentary questions in India”. The paper analysed 1315 tobacco-related questions asked by 729 MPs over the two decades (1999-2019).

MPs had concerns about health (consumption patterns; harms; cessation; regulations); trade (production & export; Tobacco Board of India; market growth); agriculture (support for farmers); labour (working conditions; alternative livelihoods; impacts of regulations). The nature of concerns changed over time with health becoming a dominant concern. Other issues like trade took somewhat of a back seat, possibly due to a growing awareness on health harms and incremental tobacco control regulations.

Livelihood and economy-related concerns persisted throughout. The number of MPs asking tobacco-related questions varied widely across states. States, from where maximum MPs asked questions (Andhra Pradesh; Maharashtra; Uttar Pradesh; Karnataka; Tamil Nadu in that order) are the states with a greater presence of tobacco industry.

Key takeaways: (1) parliamentary questions, that remain underutilized in health policy research, could be a useful resource; (2) tobacco evokes diverse & competing interests implying a need for careful mediation and consultative approach to policy making for public health gains; (3) In India, state-level (economic, political, historical, cultural) contexts are crucial in understanding the political economy of tobacco and formulating tobacco control regulations; (4) identifying key concerns help public health folks engage with diverse political voices when tobacco control reforms are planned/executed enhancing political support across sectors and constituencies for tobacco control.

We would like to thank DBT/ WT India Alliance for their support. The paper can be accessed here.


Admissions open for 2022!

In this Certificate course in Implementation Research Methods (eIR) course, There is a need to understand implementation in the real-world context. There are many evidence-based interventions to improve health that have not been effectively delivered. The research agenda especially in the context of maternal and child health, non-communicable diseases, etc. have been shifting and needs to shift from understanding the problem to actually intervening and testing solutions in health care systems. This Certificate course in Implementation Research Methods (eIR) course will improve the capacity of researchers to answer implementation research questions.

You have Successfully Subscribed!