Objectives: The Government of India passed the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce, Production, Supply and Distribution) Act, 2003 (COPTA 2003), which prohibits the sale of tobacco products within 100 yards of educational institutions and regulates tobacco advertising. The aim of this research was to monitor compliance with the section of COPTA 2003 regarding the advertisement, display and sale of tobacco products around educational institutions in Ahmedabad City, India.
Study design: Observational study around 30 randomly selected schools.
Methods: In March 2010, an observational study was conducted to assess compliance with COPTA 2003 in Ahmedabad City, India. All vendors within a 100-yard radius of 30 randomly selected schools were identified. At locations where tobacco was sold, information was collected regarding type of product sold, sale of tobacco in single units and advertising.
Results: Twenty public schools and 10 private schools were sampled. Of these, 87% [n = 26, 95% confidence interval (CI) 69-95%] had tobacco sales within 100 yards of their entrance. Of the 771 vendors observed, 24% (n = 185, 95% CI 18-32%) sold tobacco products. Tobacco advertising in violation of the law was found around 57% of schools (n = 17, 95% CI 39-73%), product displays around 83% of schools (n = 25, 95% CI 65-93%) and single sales around 70% of schools (n = 21, 95% CI 51-84%).
Conclusions: Violation of the sections of COPTA 2003 regarding sale of tobacco products around educational institutions and advertising in general is widespread in Ahmedabad City, India. Effective enforcement of the existing law is necessary to protect the children in India from widespread exposure to the sale and marketing of tobacco products.
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