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Focus Areas

Tobacco Control

Tobacco is a leading global cause of death that kills nearly 5.4 million people every year. In India, the high prevalence of tobacco consumption is one of the major challenges to the health and wellbeing of its citizens. About 2700 Indians die every day from tobacco use.  Findings from the Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS) 2009-2010 reveal that the estimated number of adult tobacco users in India is 274.9 million and this number is growing rapidly, especially among women. Research shows that 5500 youth in India start using tobacco daily. A survey of tobacco use among young people, the Global Youth Tobacco Survey-2006, reveals that more than 14% of youth currently use tobacco in India.


HRIDAY has nearly two decades of experience in the field of tobacco control and has adopted various successful multi-pronged awareness and advocacy strategies to advance tobacco control in India and contribute to the global tobacco control movement.


HRIDAY undertakes multi-dimensional research on tobacco use including behavioural research, policy and legal research, social sciences research along with cluster randomized trials for evaluating multi-component interventions involving behavior change communication.

HRIDAY has successfully conducted a large scale group randomized trial in 32 schools in Delhi and Chennai: Project MYTRI. MYTRI demonstrated the effectiveness of school based interventions in reducing tobacco use by among Indian youth by reducing current tobacco use, reducing their future intentions to use tobacco and by enhancing their health advocacy skills. The latest analysis revealed that tobacco use increased by 68% in the control schools and decreased by 17% in the intervention schools over the period of 2 years. Intentions to smoke increased by 5% in the control schools and decreased by 11% in the intervention schools. Intentions to chew tobacco decreased by 12% in the control schools and by 28% in the intervention schools.

The MYTRI curriculum has been adopted for implementation as part of Project STEPS (Strengthening of Tobacco control Efforts through innovative Partnerships and Strategies) undertaken by the Public Health Foundation of India with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, in the states of Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat.