Tobacco Control in West Bengal
Tobacco use is a major public health challenge in India with 275 million adults consuming different tobacco products. Government of India has taken various initiatives for tobacco control in the country. Besides enacting comprehensive tobacco control legislation (COTPA, 2003), India was among the first few countries to ratify WHO the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC) in 2004. The National Tobacco Control Programme was piloted during the 11th Five Year Plan which is under implementation in 42 districts of 21 states in the country. In the 12th Five Year Plan the programme would be scaled up as decided by all concerned. The advocacy for tobacco control by the civil society and community led initiatives has acted in synergy with tobacco control policies of the Government. Although different levels of success have been achieved by the states, non prioritization of tobacco control at the sub national level still exists and effective implementation of tobacco control policies remains largely a challenge. National Family Health Survey-III (2005) indicated that 50.1% males in State of West Bengal are smokers whereas 70.2% are using any kind of tobacco. The Global Youth Tobacco Survey (GYTS) 2009 highlighted that 14.6% of students aged between 13-15 years currently use any form of tobacco and 4.4% currently smoke cigarettes. The Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS) India report 2009:10 revealed that in West Bengal 36.3% of adults, 52.3% males and 19.3% of females are currently using any kind of tobacco. It also showed that 21% people of Bengal as against national average of 14% are presently smoking. This data is alarming as Bengal is the second largest home state of smokers after Uttar Pradesh in India.
Tobacco Control can effectively address the followings:
1. Address the social acceptability of tobacco consumption and thereby reduce the number of new users.
2. Smoke-free policies will lead to reduction of tobacco use as well as a reduction of existing users.
The adverse effects of smoking are particularly marked for low-income groups due to their greater exposure to tobacco. Recent studies found evidence to support the view that effective activities for tobacco control should address ethnic and class differences in smoking/tobacco use behaviour as well as socioeconomic deprivation. Therefore equity considerations suggest that enhanced tobacco control is one approach available to reduce the gaps in health status in our society. Enhanced tobacco control can also be justified in terms of intergenerational justice. Tobacco use behaviours are to some extent transmitted from parents to children. Moreover, foetuses, infants and children are directly harmed by second-hand smoke.
The Main Provisions of the Law:
Prohibition of smoking in public places. Implement from 2, Oct, 2008 in the hole of India.
1. Prohibition of advertisement, sponsorship and promotion of tobacco products.
2. Prohibition of sale of tobacco products near educational institutions
3. Regulation of health warning in tobacco products packs.
4. Regulation of tar and nicotine contents of tobacco products.
- Tobacco control programme coverage
West Bengal is the second largest state in terms of smoking in India. According to the recent studies by PHFI, Govt. of India and WHO, West Bengal has the highest number of CVD cases, 2nd highest number of cancer and respiratory disease affected patients and out of every 4 female cancer patients in the country one is from West Bengal. Against this alarming situation the sensitization workshops are conducted with the aim of creating a smokefree generation. The main focus of the workshops are effective facilitation of the enforcement of tobacco control laws as it was evident that stricter implementation of smokefree policies, ban on advertisement and sponsorship, tobacco free education institution and presence of graphical warning on cigarette packets are the most useful and cost effective methods to control the tobacco menace in a given area. The Tobacco Control Project was started by MANT in the month of September 2014 with support from The Union, New Delhi. The project gained enormous success while reaching its goal like smokefree declaration by the sports department, higher education department, Technical Education department, Municipalities and jurisdictions of local governments and districts. Since its commencement, 60 sensitization programmes were conducted in five districts of West Bengal which have been attended by 3405 stakeholders. The coverage of the tobacco control programme extends from Central Government including participation of 160 Railway Employees and 51 people working in the Indian Postal department to State Government which includes 208 and 175 stakeholders from District Health Department and Block Health Administration respectively. In addition to this 204 people have attended the workshops from District Administration and 96 stakeholders from the Block Administrations along with 560 from the Police Department, 15 from School Education Department, 20 from Higher Education Department and 5 participants from Technical Education Department. There were 72 and 64 stakeholders from Transport and Sports Department respectively. 486 number of elected representatives and personnel from municipalities i.e. local Government bodies in urban areas and 198 elected representatives of Panchayats (local government) in rural areas have attended the sensitization workshops. In conjunction with these 23 stakeholders from financial institutions like banks, 7 persons from NGOs and 50 participants from various other categories have participated in the programme. Thus we can conclude that the proactive participation of the target audience in the said programme is creating a rippling effect, as many institutions and jurisdictions have now been actively following the smokefree law to its very letter and spirit. These programs were covered by 49 number of print media which is tantamount to the involvement of Rs. 1269454 if we had gonefor due publicity through the media.
Project Location and Team Member
Mr. Joydeb Mondal
Joydeb Mondal is a zealous social worker presently working as the Regional coordinator, Howrah in Advancing Tobacco Control Project in the State of West Bengal through System establishment, capacity building and comprehensive enforcement of legislation in 5 districts of West Bengal viz. Kolkata, Howrah, Purulia, Paschim Medinipur, Bankura. He has completed his Post Graduation (M.A) in English and is currently pursuing Masters in Social Work (MSW). He joined the organization as district coordinator cum data manager of tribal health project in Dakshin Dinajpur. He was then the project assistant of the tobacco control project, later promoted to the post of regional coordinator.
Mr. Soumik Nandy
Project Asst. Tobacco Control
Soumik Nandy has completed his Post Graduation in Agriculture and Rural Development (M.Sc) and is presently working as the Project Assistant (SHG) at MANT. His job responsibilities include monitoring and evaluation and supportive supervision of the SHG projects of the organization.
Regional Coordinator- Bankura & Purulia
Mayukh Ghose has more than five years of working experience in project designing, execution, training and monitoring of various development programmes in the field of education, environment, and health and community development. Mayukh Ghose has completed his Post Graduation in Ecology and Environmental Science from Assam University and currently pursuing Master of Social Work (MSW) degree. He has a diploma in Graphics and Animation. Presently, he is working as the Regional Coordinator of Tobacco Control Programme-Purulia and Bankura at MANT. He has a comprehensive experience working in this field as the District Project Coordinator and Data Manager of 'RCH Tribal Health Programme at MANT from 2011 to 2012. After this, he has worked as the programme Manager of North Bengal from 2012 to 2014. Research Works Undertaken by him: 1. Alternative method for Crop Conservation under N.C.S.T.C./D.S.T, govt. of India.. 2. Isolation and purification of some fresh water micro-algal species for their physiological and biochemical characterization. List of Publication: 1. Isolation of Two Green Algal Species from Ornamental Fish Hatchery Unit, Biochemical Characterization and Relevance to Fish Sustenance Email: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
Ms. Sudeshna Sarangi
Sudeshna Sarangi is an enthusiastic social worker currently working as the Project Coordinator in Advancing Tobacco Control project in the State of West Bengal through System establishment, capacity building and comprehensive enforcement of legislation in 5 districts of West Bengal viz. Kolkata, Howrah, Purulia, Paschim Medinipur, Bankura. She has completed her Post Graduation (M.A) in Social Work and has an extensive experience in the field of social work for eight years. She has worked as a Monitoring Officer in "The Hope Foundation". She has also worked as a project coordinator Women & Children Development Center. She was also associated with Paschim Banga Krira O Janakalyan Parishad & Bikash NGO as a project coordinator. Email: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
Regional Coordinator TC- Kolkata
Samarpita Sanyal is an earnest social worker who has completed her Post Graduation in Social Work (MSW) alongside a master degree in Philosophy. She has a profound working experience of more than eight years and is presently working as the Regional Coordinator, Kolkata in Advancing Tobacco Control project in the State of West Bengal through System establishment, capacity building and comprehensive enforcement of legislation in 5 districts of West Bengal viz. Kolkata, Howrah, Purulia, Paschim Medinipur, Bankura. She started her career as Urban Planner, at Mathabhanga Municipality, Coochbihar District, Municipal Affairs Department, Govt. of West Bengal. She is an enthusiastic person with able professional skills to conduct sensitization programmes and training delivery. She has working experience with both Non Government and Government organizations. Email: email@example.com , firstname.lastname@example.org