Compliance of Specifc Provisions of Tobacco Control Law around Educational Institutions in Delhi, India

Rajesh Yadav, Leimapokpam Swasticharan, Renu Garg


Background: Tobacco use is leading preventable cause of premature deaths. Sales of tobacco products within 100 yards of educational institutions (EIs) in India are restricted under Section 6 of Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act (COTPA), 2003. This study accessed compliance of Section 6 of COTPA around EIs in Delhi.

Methods: A cross‑sectional study was conducted in randomly selected 100 EIs from 6600 schools/colleges in Delhi. Activities related to Section 6 of
COTPA around EIs, such as the sale of tobacco products within a radius of 100 yards, sale of tobacco products to and by minors, and existence of display boards prohibiting sale of tobacco products were observed using Global Positioning System (GPS)‑enabled tablet computers preloaded with maps and Open Data Kit software. Data analysis was done using Epi Info version 7.

Results: Among the 100 EIs surveyed (53 government, 47 private), tobacco products were sold at 43 outlets within a radius of 100 yards of 27 EIs. No outlet had a display board prohibiting sale of tobacco products to minors. One outlet sold tobacco products to minors during the period of observation, but sale of tobacco products by minors was not observed. Only 38% of EIs displayed board prohibiting tobacco sales; private EIs were signifcantly less likely to display signs prohibiting tobacco sales than government EIs (45% vs. 81%; P < 0.001).

Conclusions: Sale of tobacco products is common around EIs in Delhi. The use of simple technology provided quick results to policy‑makers. Similar periodic surveys should help regulatory agencies to strictly enforce provisions of COTPA.

Keywords: Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act, Delhi, educational institutions, tablet computers, tobacco

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