Indian Journal of Public Health

LETTER TO THE EDITOR
Year
: 2011  |  Volume : 55  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 339--340

Knowledge, attitude and practices regarding anti-tobacco measures among members of Panchayati raj institutions in a rural area of Haryana


Rakesh Kumar, Puneet Misra 
 Centre for Community Medicine, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
Rakesh Kumar
Senior Resident, Centre for Community Medicine, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi
India




How to cite this article:
Kumar R, Misra P. Knowledge, attitude and practices regarding anti-tobacco measures among members of Panchayati raj institutions in a rural area of Haryana.Indian J Public Health 2011;55:339-340


How to cite this URL:
Kumar R, Misra P. Knowledge, attitude and practices regarding anti-tobacco measures among members of Panchayati raj institutions in a rural area of Haryana. Indian J Public Health [serial online] 2011 [cited 2021 Sep 22 ];55:339-340
Available from: https://www.ijph.in/text.asp?2011/55/4/339/92423


Full Text

Sir,

Tobacco use is one of the major causes of morbidity and mortality in India. A recent survey has shown that more than half of the men and 11% of women use tobacco in any form in India. [1] A study found the prevalence of smoking to be 41% among men and 13% among women in a rural area of Haryana in India. [2] Globally tobacco is responsible for about 5 million deaths each year with 2.41 million deaths in developing countries and 2.43 million in developed countries. [3]

Anti-tobacco legislation is one of the public health measures to address this menace of tobacco-related morbidity and mortality. There is evidence that various provisions of the legislation like ban on smoking in public places, increased taxation on tobacco products and ban on advertisements have led to decrease in use of tobacco products. [4] Anti-tobacco legislation is in place in India for quite some time. Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs) may play a pivotal role in implementation of anti-tobacco measures in rural area because they can influence the anti-tobacco policy at rural level. There is little data on the awareness and their willingness to support these anti-tobacco measures in India.

A self-administered structured questionnaire was used to assess the knowledge, attitude and practices of the members of Panchayati Raj Institutions under the geographical area of primary health centers, Dayalpur and Chhainsa, in Ballabgarh tehsil of Faridabad district of Haryana during a meeting in January 2009 regarding anti-tobacco measures in India. All 43 members of PRIs, who were present during the meeting, were included. 88% of the participants were aware about the ban on smoking in public places, but only 10% were aware about ban on advertisement of tobacco products. 26% were aware about prohibition on sale of tobacco products around educational institutions while only 48% were aware about the penalty for smoking in public places. Most of them either agreed or strongly agreed to various anti-tobacco measures [Table 1]. They cited electoral compulsions as well as low level of awareness among public as obstacles in effective implementation of anti-tobacco measures. {Table 1}

Though members of PRIs are broadly aware of ban on smoking in public places, they have low level of awareness regarding other anti-tobacco measures. There is strong support for anti-tobacco measures among them. Increasing the level of awareness among people and members of PRIs as well as efforts to change people's attitude through behavior change communication will help in effective implementation of anti-tobacco measures. A high level of support among community representatives at the grass root level may be used by the planners to their advantage.

References

1International Institute for Population Sciences (IIPS) and Macro International, 2007. National Family Health Survey (NFHS-3).Vol. 1. Mumbai, India: IIPS; 2005-06. p. 426.
2Anand K, Shah B, Lal V, Shukla DK, Paul E, Kapoor SK. Prevalence of risk factors for non- communicable disease in rural Haryana. Indian J Public Health 2008;52:117-24.
3Tobacco Free Initiative. Why is tobacco a public health priority? Geneva: World Health Organization; 2004. Available from: http://www.who.int/tobacco/en/. [Last accessed on 2009 Aug 24].
4World Bank. Curbing the epidemics. Governments and the economics of tobacco control. In: Measures to reduce the demand for tobacco. Available from: http://www1.worldbank.org/tobacco/book/html/chapter4.htm. [Last accessed on 2009 Aug 25].