As it is a known fact that tobacco consumption is not only harmful but also one of the biggest public health threats the world has ever faced. Tobacco use is estimated to cause more than 13 lakh deaths in India annually. One in 10 deaths in India is attributable to tobacco use. Per day, the number of tobacco-related deaths in India is 3,700 – almost 154 per hour.
Tobacco companies are using vendors and targeting children around schools through dirty tactics such as point of sale advertising, distribution of free samples (tobacco products), discounted products etc.
Tiny Targets Study is part of a campaign which aims to provide children with safe tobacco-free learning environments by documenting tobacco marketing near schools, mobilizing educators and students to take action, and urging governments to enact and implement comprehensive tobacco control laws.
In India, Consumer Voice and Voluntary Health Association of India conducted a Tiny Targets study to determine the extent of tobacco products being marketed and sold around schools in India. A total sample of 243 schools and 487 points of sale were closely surveyed during this study in these 20 cities.
Objectives of the Study
- To gather additional evidence regarding tobacco products being sold around educational institutions,
- To assess COTPA compliance near educational institutions,
- To expose Tobacco Industry tactics to target children.
- Nearly 37% children in India initiate smoking before the age of 10, and each day 5500 children begin tobacco use and consequently may become addicted.
- According to The Global Adult Tobacco Survey; India (2016-17), by Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW), nearly 28.6% of adults (15 years and above, use tobacco products.
- According to The Global Youth Tobacco Survey India, 14.6% of 13 -15 year old students in India use tobacco. As many as 11% of all male students surveyed were found to be users of smoking or smokeless tobacco, while 6% of female students used smokeless tobacco and 3.7% smoked tobacco.
- India was among the first countries to ratify the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) in 2004. Indian enacted comprehensive tobacco control legislation, entitled, "The Cigarette and Other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of trade and commerce, Production, Supply and Distribution) Act, 2003" (COTPA).
- As per Section 6 of the Cigarettes and other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce, Production, Supply and Distribution) Act, 2003 (COTPA), there is a ban on the sale of tobacco to and by minors.
- Under Section 6 (b) of COTPA, the sale of tobacco products is prohibited in an area within a radius of 100 yards of any educational institutions and mandatory signage in this regard should be displayed prominently near the main gate and on the boundary wall of the school institute.
Higher Taxation by GST Council will curb Tobacco Addiction
Consumer VOICE in its effort to control tobacco menace has been working closely with the government and other state partners. With the budget round the corner and the new Finance Minster taking charge, Consumer VOICE has urged the members of the GST Council to retain tobacco products as