How Compliant are Tobacco Vendors to India's Tobacco Control Legislation on Ban of Advertisments at Point of Sale? A Three Jurisdictions Review

  • Goel, Sonu (Health Management, PGIMER School of Public Health) ;
  • Kumar, Ravinder (Tobacco Control, The Union South East Asia) ;
  • Lal, Pranay (Tobacco Control, The Union South East Asia) ;
  • Tripathi, J.P. (Community Medicine, PGIMER School of Public Health) ;
  • Singh, Rana J. (Tobacco Control, The Union South East Asia) ;
  • Rathinam, Arul (Pasumai Thaayagam Foundation) ;
  • Christian, Anant (Faith Foundation)
  • Published : 2015.01.22


Background: Section 5 of India's tobacco control legislation "Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act (COTPA), 2003"comprehensively prohibits all kinds of tobacco advertisement, promotion and sponsorship (TAPS), but permits advertisments at the point-of-sale (POS) under certain conditions. This provision has been exploited by the tobacco companies to promote their products. Objective: To measure compliance with the provisions of Section 5 of Indian tobacco control legislation (COTPA, 2003) at point of sale. Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional survey using an observation checklist was conducted in 1860 POS across three jurisdictions (Chennai city, District Vadodara and District Mohali) in India. Results: The most common mode of advertisement of tobacco products was product showcasing (51.1%), followed by dangles (49.6%), stickers (33.8%) and boards (27.1%). More than one fourth of POS were found violating legal provisions for displaying advertisement boards in one or other forms (oversized, extended to full body lenth of POS, displayed brandname/packshot and promotional messages). Advertisement boards (16.3%) without health warnings were also found and wherever found, more than 90% health warning were not as per the specification in respect to size, font and background color. Conclusions: Point of sale advertising is aggressively used by the tobacco industry to promote their products. There is an urgent need of effective implementation of a comprehensive ban on tobacco product advertisement, promotion and sponsorship at point of sale.


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