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.