BHOPAL: A new study has revealed that despite ban, tobacco products are being sold within 100 yards of School premises in Madhya Pradesh. National Centre for Human Settlements & Environment (NCHSE) along with Consumer Voice, New Delhi organised a stakeholders’ workshop to present the finding of the new study titled, Big Tobacco –
Tiny Targets on selling of tobacco products within the 100 yards of School premises in 20 cities across 6 states of India, including 5 cities (Bhopal, Indore, Sagar, Jabalpur and Gwalior) of Madhya Pradesh as well as to sensitise stakeholders to support tobacco vendor licensing and effective tobacco control measures to protect young generation from tobacco menace, here on Thursday.
NCHSE conducted the study in Madhya Pradesh to determine the extent of tobacco products being marketed and sold around schools in State. A sample of 53 schools and 72 points of sale were surveyed during this study in these cities.
The report revealed that despite the prohibition on sales of tobacco products near educational institutions, numerous shops/vendors/points of sale sell & advertises tobacco products around schools and that the multinational tobacco companies are systematically targeting children as young as eight year old by selling tobacco products and placing tobacco advertisements near schools premises.
These egregious tactics, are happening all over the country in clear violation of sections 5 and 6 of Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce, Production, Supply and Distribution) Act, 2003 (COTPA 2003).
The key findings of study in Madhya Pradesh presented by Consumer Voice adviser Hemant Upadhyay are- nearly half of the vendors around schools sell tobacco products, 38 points of sale were found selling tobacco products out of the 72 surveyed around 53 schools in 5 cities.
Street and Mobile vendors were the most common form of vendors at 73% of the 38 tobacco points of sale observed. Out of 72 tobacco points of sale observed, 88% vendors found to be selling cigarettes of multinational tobacco companies. 100% vendors advertise tobacco products around schools.