Consumer VOICE, Delhi in collaboration with Rajkot Saher Jilla Grahak Suraksha Mandal, Gujarat, organized a Stakeholders’ dissemination workshop on ‘’Big Tobacco-Tiny Targets’’ study in four cities of Gujarat- Ahmedabad, Morbi, Rajkot and Jamnagar on 27th Feb, 12th March, 23rd March and 26thMarch 2019. A report which reveals how tobacco companies are systematically targeting children as young as eight years old in Gujarat by selling tobacco products and placing tobacco advertisements near schools premises.
- To gather additional evidence regarding tobacco products being sold around educational institutions
- To assess COTPA compliance near educational institutions
- To expose Tobacco Industry tactics which target children
Key finding of Gujarat:-
- Majority of the vendors around schools sell tobacco products. (Investigators observed 50 points of sale selling tobacco products around schools. Street vendors were the most common form of vendors at 80% of the 50 tobacco points of sale observed.)
- Multinational tobacco companies sell tobacco products around schools. (Investigators documented that, of the 50tobacco points of sale observed, 96% carried ITC brands and 84% carried Phillip Morris.
- Vendors advertise tobacco products around schools.(Investigators observed tobacco advertising at all the 50 tobacco points of sale.)
- Vendors sell cigarettes and bidis via single sticks, making these products cheap and accessible to children and youth. (Investigators observed single stick sales in 49 of the 50 tobacco points of sale observed).
- Vendors display tobacco products in ways that are appealing to children and youth. (Investigators documented that, of the 50 tobacco points of sale observed, 92% of displays were at 1 meter – a child’s eye level; and 82% of displays were beside candy, sweets and toys – items marketed to children.)
Workshops were attended by various stakeholdersHon. Justice, Consumer Forum; Ex-President Nagar Palika; Hon. MLA &Ex Minister, Govt. of Gujarat; Representative from CSO; Hon. Mayor; Head from Tobacco Control Cell; Representative from educational institute;Students; Health experts; Media Representative; Activists working on tobacco control; Activists working on Consumer and Child right issues. Shri AnupsinhJadeja Ex-President Nagar Palika, Morbi mentioned in his speech that he always try to control tobacco product sale in Morbi district. He emphasis on the strong COTPA implementation.Shri Govindbhai Patel, Hon. MLA & Ex Minister, Govt. of Gujarat, Rajkot gave his assurance of that he will talk to the government for COTPA implementation. He said it’s our social responsibility to protect children from tobacco. Smt. NazmaHala – Head tobacco control cell, Jamnagar District presented advisory given by the Health Department of Gujarat state, She has given assurance to take a special report in the next tobacco control cell meeting organized by the Hon. Collector, as well as state government meeting organized by the Health Secretary, Gandhinagar.