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Advancing Tobacco Control in India Through Capacity Building, Evidence Based Policy Development, Legislation, Enforcement and Advocacy facilitated by AFTC (Delhi)

The aim of the project is to strengthen tobacco control in India through development and implementation of evidence based policies, appropriate amendments and effective enforcement of tobacco control legislation, enhancement of civil society engagement in tobacco control related activities and capacity building of multiple stakeholders at various levels, through the AFTC Delhi Secretariat.

Training High School Students on Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) and Automated External Defibrillator (AED) use through HRIDAY-SHAN’s School Network in Delhi.
The project aims at training high school students for imparting Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) skills and use of Automated External Defibrillator (AED) by trained instructors/experts. The intent of providing such training is not only to equip these young persons learn a basic life saving technique which can be used to rescue persons who have stopped breathing or gone into cardiac arrest, but also sensitize them on the catastrophic consequences of cardiovascular diseases. The project was piloted in 10 schools in New Delhi (2007-08). Results of the pilot project highlight that the comprehensive programme developed for the Indian audience effectively imparted knowledge on CPR and AED use to the students in the age group (14-16 years). Presently in its final phase of implementation, the project is active in 10 schools in New Delhi.

HRIDAY in collaboration with University of Texas, USA is conducting a research study entitled “Advancing Cessation of Tobacco in Vulnerable Indian Tobacco Consuming Youth (ACTIVITY)”. This trial was funded by the Fogarty International Center, National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Project ACTIVITY is a group-randomized intervention trial designed to develop, implement, and evaluate a comprehensive, community-based approach to tobacco control for youth(10-19 years), living in urban slums in Delhi, India. The specific aims of the project are: (1)To conduct a cluster randomized trial, in slum-dwelling and other low income residential communities of Delhi, of non-pharmacologic community led behavioral intervention intended to promote cessation of tobacco use by adolescent consumers of tobacco, in order to evaluate the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of such interventions; (2) To identify the demographic and psychosocial factors associated with the uptake and cessation of tobacco products by adolescents residing in such communities; (3) To increase the capacity of Indian investigators, research staff, partner NGOs, community leaders and youth self help groups to implement tobacco cessation programs in low resources community settings; (4) To increase the capacity of US investigators to adapt research methods validated in developed countries for application in a developing country.

This research study addresses the etiology of tobacco use among disadvantaged youth in India, as well as the cost- benefit of a multi- component intervention and the results of this study are expected to provide information on effectiveness of the community based behavioral intervention for promoting tobacco cessation among disadvantaged youth living in urban slums.

In the initial stage of this project, field visits were conducted to identify the communities as per the selection criteria. Meetings were held with NGO personnel for their collaboration and to brief them about the project activities. Census of all the communities selected for the project was conducted and currently the baseline survey in all the selected communities is in the process. The objective of the survey is to obtain information on prevalence, patterns of tobacco use and to explore determinants that promote tobacco use and tobacco cessation. Based on the results of the focus group discussions conducted and previous experiences a comprehensive community based tobacco control intervention strategies are being developed.

Awareness and Monitoring Campaign for effective enforcement of smoke- free laws in public places in Delhi
The project aimed at conducting a youth led campaign to monitor implementation of ban on smoking in public places to make Delhi Smoke Free. In this regard HRIDAY- SHAN initiated an awareness and advocacy campaign “Smoke Free Restaurant” to sensitize the restaurant and hotel owners in Delhi about the rules notified by Government of India related to prohibition of smoking in public places and the provisions for designating smoking and non-smoking areas in restaurants.

Students visited restaurants/hotels in Delhi to collect the baseline data by observation and by interviewing the owner/ manager/incharge of hotels and restaurants to gauge the current status on enforcement of ban on smoking in public places enacted by the GOI and notified by the Delhi government. The students again visited these restaurants after 15 days to see whether the smoke –free provisions of the law were being implemented by the hotel/ restaurant owners. Analysis of the baseline nad endline data is being done and soon the results will be available.

Restaurant Campaign Results
Youth activists representing HRIDAY, a Delhi based voluntary health organisation, engaged in health promotion activities among youth in India, had undertaken a monitoring campaign in randomly selected restaurants across Delhi to gauge the level of implementation of the smoke- free rules. A total of 61 restaurants/ food joints, pub/bars and hookah bar were visited as part of the campaign. To our surprise only 28% of the restaurants had ‘No- Smoking’ signage at entrance and at any conspicuous place inside the restaurant. Out of these, more than 60% didn’t comply with the signage specifications outlined in the law. 98% of the restaurants did not mention the name of the person to whom complaints regarding violations can be directed – which is an essential component of the rules notified under this provision of the law. During the monitoring campaign, in 10% of the restaurants, youth activists found people smoking in the non-smoking area. Out of the three bars/ pubs visited, only one of them had the ‘No- Smoking’ signage as per the specifications. The hookah bar visited didn’t have signage placed at any location.