Strengthening tobacco control policies during the COVID-19 pandemic in India

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Abstract

Problem considered: The aim of this paper was to support policy makers to make informed decisions regarding public health response in general, and tobacco control interventions particularly, in the context of COVID-19. Methods: An online cross-sectional survey using a semi-structured questionnaire was conducted in the year 2020 with stakeholders in tobacco control and public health experts from private and government organizations. Information pertaining to background characteristics of study participants and impact of pandemic on tobacco use and means to leverage tobacco control policy was collected. Data was analysed using Microsoft excel 2010 and results are presented as frequencies and percentages along with key responses from open ended questions. Results: A total of 72 stakeholders were approached out of which, 46 (56.1%) responded and were included. About 32 (74.4%) of the participants thought that public health authorities had given advice on stopping tobacco use during COVID-19 pandemic. About 19 (43.2%) participants did not notice any change in level of interest in tobacco cessation during the pandemic while a majority 34(73.8%) agreed that COVID-19 pandemic had an impact on health seeking behaviour of patients with non-communicable diseases. Nearly half of participants, 21(48.8%) opined that tobacco industry was engaged in corporate social responsibilities during COVID-19. Conclusion: The stakeholders expressed that there is a good opportunity to further strengthen tobacco control activities during COVID-19 pandemic and also emphasized need to closely monitor tobacco industry interference during this time.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101057
Pages (from-to)101057
JournalClinical Epidemiology and Global Health
Volume15
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 01-05-2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Epidemiology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases

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