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Year : 2006  |  Volume : 50  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 76-89

Linking global youth tobacco survey (GYTS) data to the WHO framework convention on tobacco control: The case for India

1 School of Preventive Oncology, Patna, Bihar, India
2 Head and Professor, Department of Cardiology, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India
3 Regional Advisor/Tobacco Free Initiative WHO South-East Asia Regional Office, New Delhi, India
4 Office on Smoking and Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia, USA

Correspondence Address:
Dhirendra Narain Sinha
School of Preventive Oncology, Patna, Bihar
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

PMID: 17191409

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India ratified the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC) on February 27, 2005. The WHO FCTC is the world's first public health treaty that aims to promote and protect public health and reduce the devastating health and economic impacts of tobacco. Post ratification, each member state as part of general obligation has agreed to develop, implement, periodically update and review comprehensive multisectoral national tobacco control strategies, plans and programmes in accordance with this Convention and the protocols to which it is a Party. The Global Youth Tobacco Survey (GYTS) was developed to track tobacco use among young people across countries and the GYTS surveillance system intends to enhance the capacity of countries to design, implement, and evaluate tobacco control and prevention programs. The South-East Asia Region of WHO has developed the "Regional Strategy for Utilization of the GYTS" to meet this need for countries in the Region. In 2003, India has passed its national tobacco control legislation (India Tobacco Control Act [ITCA]), which includes provisions designed to reduce tobacco consumption and protect citizens from exposure to second hand smoke. Data in the GYTS (India) report can be used as a baseline measure for future evaluation of the tobacco control programs implemented by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India. India has to upscale some provisions of its National Law to accommodate all of the requirements of FCTC. Using determinants measured by GYTS in India, the government can monitor the impact of enforcing various provisions of the ITCA and the progress made in achieving the goals of the WHO FCTC and the Regional Strategies. Effective enforcement of the provisions of ITCA will show in the receding numbers of tobacco use prevalence figures and reduction in the expenditures associated with tobacco use in India.

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