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Presentation at WNTD in Chandigarh by Hemant Goswami (Tobacco Control)


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Presntation at WNTD in Chandigarh by Hemant Goswami (Tobacco Control)

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Presentation at WNTD in Chandigarh by Hemant Goswami (Tobacco Control)

  1. 1. Burning Brain Society greets all the people who are working for a posi t ive change Feel free to ask anything, anytime. Interaction by: Hemant Goswami FCTC, Tobacco legislation, Civil Society & Hope
  2. 2. There is a disease which starts years before it manifests itself into something which can be diagnosed and addressed
  3. 3. FCTC – What is it? FCTC is a legally binding international treaty which prescribe treatment to the identified social malady "Tobacco.” The magnitude of the tobacco problem can be gauged from the fact that the rarely used Article 19 of WHO constitution has been put into effect for this convention. FCTC shall be legally binding on all the countries who ratify it. India ratified FCTC on February 5, 2003. Till date 168 countries have signed the FCTC and 75 have ratified it. The convention of parties shall begin one year from from Feb. 27, 2005 .
  4. 4. The Basics about FCTC <ul><ul><ul><li>The FCTC is a legally binding treaty which was negotiated by the 192 member states of the World Health Organization (WHO). The world’s first public health treaty , the FCTC contains a host of measures designed to reduce the devastating health and economic impacts of tobacco. The final agreement, reached in May 2003 after nearly four years of negotiations, provides the basic tools for countries to enact comprehensive tobacco control legislation. Key provisions in the treaty encourage countries to: </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Enact comprehensive bans on tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship ; </li></ul><ul><li>Obligate the placement of rotating health warnings on tobacco packaging that cover at least 30 percent (but ideally 50 percent or more) of the principal display areas and can include pictures or pictograms; </li></ul><ul><li>Ban the use of misleading and deceptive terms such as &quot;light&quot; and &quot;mild&quot;; </li></ul><ul><li>Protect citizens from exposure to tobacco smoke in workplaces, public transport and indoor public places; </li></ul><ul><li>Combat smuggling , including the placing of final destination markings on packs; and </li></ul><ul><li>Increase tobacco taxes </li></ul><ul><li>The FCTC also contains numerous other measures designed to promote and protect public health, such as mandating the disclosure of ingredients in tobacco products , providing treatment for tobacco addiction , encouraging legal action against the tobacco industry , and promoting research and the exchange of information among countries. </li></ul>
  5. 5. What FCTC intends? <ul><li>Article 3 </li></ul><ul><li>Objective </li></ul><ul><li>The objective of this Convention and its protocols is to protect present and future generations from the devastating health, social, environmental and economic consequences of tobacco consumption and exposure to tobacco smoke by providing a framework for tobacco control measures to be implemented by the Parties at the national, regional and international levels in order to reduce continually and substantially the prevalence of tobacco use and exposure to tobacco smoke. </li></ul>
  6. 6. The Guiding Principles of FCTC <ul><li>Article 4 </li></ul><ul><li>Guiding principles </li></ul><ul><li>Every person should be informed of the health consequences ; addictive nature and mortal threat posed by tobacco consumption and exposure to tobacco smoke and effective legislative , executive, administrative or other measures should be contemplated at the appropriate governmental level to protect all persons from exposure to tobacco smoke. </li></ul><ul><li>2. Strong political commitment is necessary to develop and support, at the national, regional and international levels </li></ul><ul><li>(a) the need to take measures to protect all persons from exposure to tobacco smoke; </li></ul><ul><li>(b) the need to take measures to prevent the initiation , to promote and support cessation , and to decrease the consumption of tobacco products in any form; </li></ul><ul><li>7. The participation of civil society is essential in achieving the objective of the Convention and its protocols. </li></ul>
  7. 7. The threat and the fore warning <ul><li>From the Preamble; Recognizing the need to be alert to any efforts by the tobacco industry to undermine or subvert tobacco control efforts and the need to be informed of activities of the tobacco industry that have a negative impact on tobacco control efforts, </li></ul><ul><li>From Article 5; General obligations 3. In setting and implementing their public health policies with respect to tobacco control, Parties shall act to protect these policies from commercial and other vested interests of the tobacco industry in accordance with national law. </li></ul>
  8. 8. COTPA - Are we following the spirit? How effective? What the Civil Society can do?
  9. 9. Tobacco Advertising, Promotion & Sponsorship <ul><li>FCTC: Article 13: Parties recognize that a comprehensive ban on advertising, promotion and sponsorship would reduce the consumption of tobacco products . </li></ul><ul><li>COTPA: Section 5: ( 1 ) ….. and no person shall take part in any advertisement which directly or indirectly suggests or promotes the use or consumption of cigarettes or any other tobacco products. ………. </li></ul>
  10. 10. Why it is important and why we are failing? <ul><li>It is known the world over that by simply restricting the advertisement of tobacco products there is a reduction in instances of tobacco consumption by approximately 7%. </li></ul><ul><li>Tobacco companies are known to subvert the attempts. Example “ Red & White Bravery Awards ,” “ Gold Flake Expressions Cards ,” “ Pan Parag Non Tobacco Pan Masala ,” “ Wills Lifestyle ,” “ 502 Pataka Chai ,” “ Kuber Namkeen ,” etc. are all forms of suggestive indirect advertisement. No one is bothered to take care of these indirect advertisements which have immense brand recall value. The civil society has an important role to play here . Use the independent judiciary to bring the violators to book. File complaints of omission to perform lawful duty against the responsible government officials under Section 166 of I.P.C. </li></ul>
  11. 11. Areas of focus to handle subversion tactics <ul><li>The legislation is weak and must be given more teeth so that it is effective. An amendment is necessary. But this in no way prevents from the present provisions being put to force . </li></ul><ul><li>Politicians have more-or-less performed their duty by enacting the legislation. It is the executive and the administrative arms of the state who are lacking behind . </li></ul><ul><li>The liaison between the executive and administrative officials and the tobacco companies is playing a big role. </li></ul><ul><li>Personal Preferences are overriding the lawful responsibilities. </li></ul><ul><li>The size of the problem is discouraging many. The solution is not overnight. </li></ul>
  12. 12. A climb down in some ways <ul><li>Section 278 of the IPC: Making atmosphere noxious to health: - Whoever voluntarily vitiates the atmosphere in any place so as to make it noxious to the health of persons in general dwelling or carrying on business in the neighborhood or passing along a public way, shall be punished with fine which may extend to five hundred rupees . </li></ul><ul><li>Section 21 of COTPA: Penalty for smoking in certain places: Whoever contravenes the provisions of section 4 shall be punishable with fine which may extend to two hundred rupees . We need to rethink and be serious enough to levy a penalty which is a real deterrent. Token acts serve no purpose . </li></ul>
  13. 13. A climb down in some ways <ul><li>Section 293 of the IPC: Sale, etc., of obscene objects to young person :--Whoever sells, lets to hire, distributes, exhibits or circulates to any person under the age of twenty years any such obscene object as is referred to in the last preceding section, or offers or attempts so to do, shall be punished on first conviction with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to three years, and with fine which may extend to two thousand rupees , and, in the event of a second or subsequent conviction, with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to seven years , and also with fine which may extend to five thousand rupees. </li></ul><ul><li>Section 24 of COTPA : For selling tobacco to children : Any person who contravenes the provisions of section 6 shall be guilty of an offence under this Act and shall be punishable with fine which may extend to two hundred rupees . </li></ul>
  14. 14. Some other FCTC directions <ul><li>Article 6 </li></ul><ul><li>Price and tax measures to reduce the demand for tobacco </li></ul><ul><li>The Parties recognize that price and tax measures are an effective and important means of reducing tobacco consumption by various segments of the population, in particular young persons. </li></ul><ul><li>Article 7 </li></ul><ul><li>Non-price measures to reduce the demand for tobacco </li></ul><ul><li>The Parties recognize that comprehensive non-price measures are an effective and important means of reducing tobacco consumption. Each Party shall adopt and implement effective legislative, executive, administrative or other measures necessary to implement its obligations </li></ul><ul><li>Article 15(7) Provision suggesting licensing of tobacco shops </li></ul><ul><li>Each Party shall endeavor to adopt and implement further measures including licensing </li></ul>
  15. 15. A practical way of controlling tobacco in INDIA: A Suggestion <ul><li>License all the tobacco shops Anyone who so ever wish to sell tobacco must obtain a license to do so. </li></ul><ul><li>This way we can control the random growth of tobacco vendors. </li></ul><ul><li>Stop the sale of tobacco by and to minors . </li></ul><ul><li>Restrain ever shop owner from selling tobacco . </li></ul><ul><li>Restrain the promotion of tobacco products over the counter as the number of counters shall be reduced. </li></ul>
  16. 16. THE BENEFITS OF LICENCING TOBACCO SHOPS <ul><li>Besides it shall provide additional revenue which can be used by the State to promote the Tobacco Free Initiative activities. </li></ul><ul><li>The budget of anti-tobacco campaigns which at present is close to nothing will come at par with that of tobacco companies. </li></ul><ul><li>The influence of tobacco companies over the policy makers will reduce because the revenue will start flowing from other quarters. </li></ul>
  17. 17. What can we do for this? <ul><li>Lobby for a central policy on licensing of tobacco shops. </li></ul><ul><li>Ask the respective State Governments to license tobacco shops. </li></ul><ul><li>Correspond with all the responsible people. Keep the flow of the communication . </li></ul><ul><li>Sell the idea to others and let them pass it as their own idea. Transfer the ownership. </li></ul><ul><li>Share the benefits of licensing tobacco shops with the policy makers, media and opinion makers . </li></ul>
  18. 18. What can we do? How <ul><li>We can become a role model . </li></ul><ul><li>Coordinate with all the other organization working against tobacco. </li></ul><ul><li>Encourage youngsters to join anti-tobacco drives and campaigns. </li></ul><ul><li>Demand our right to live in a smoke free environment. </li></ul><ul><li>Boycott all officials, companies, shops and stores which promote tobacco products. </li></ul><ul><li>Spread awareness about the law and point out the lapses without fail . Demand enforcement. </li></ul>
  19. 19. Some more…. <ul><li>Take tobacco by its horns. Resort to legal remedies when other actions fail. </li></ul><ul><li>Do not be carried of by the designation of people or their rhetoric's. Let’s remain true to our objectives . </li></ul><ul><li>Do not be afraid of criticizing and suggesting. </li></ul><ul><li>Let other know that our criticism and actions are issue based and not directed towards a person or an organization. </li></ul><ul><li>Speak against tobacco , speak often and be loud and clear. </li></ul>
  20. 20. Is a Change possible? <ul><li>YES; but don’t expect miracles overnight . </li></ul><ul><li>20-50 years is but a very small time for bringing a social change. </li></ul><ul><li>YES, but you may never get any credit for it. Never Mind. Pass on the credit . </li></ul><ul><li>The kind of satisfaction it will give you and the values which you will impart can not be quantified. </li></ul>
  21. 21. We can do it together <ul><li>All social changes are brought by a handful of people. Social change is very rarely a mass movement. People who direct the efforts for change are always a very small bunch of dedicated people. History has it. </li></ul><ul><li>Let’s move with the spirit of FCTC. Let’s lead and take our world in a positive direction. </li></ul><ul><li>WE CAN DO IT. </li></ul>