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Comparative assessment of implementation of Cigarette and Other Tobacco Products Act in three States of India: A pre-post study.

BACKGROUND OBJECTIVES: The Cigarette and Other Tobacco Products Act (COTPA) limits the sale of tobacco products, promotion and advertising and packaging of tobacco products in India. Periodic monitoring of the level of compliance with all sections of COTPA is obligatory to assess the effectiveness of the act.

METHODS: This pre-post study aimed to assess the change in the level of compliance with different sections of COTPA in selected States. A total of 3849 and 2176 samples were assessed during the study in November 202 and October 2021, respectively; using the EpiData Software.

RESULTS: Average compliance with section 4 of COTPA was highest in Puducherry during baseline [51.88%, prevalence ratio (PR)=0.72, 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.51-1.02] and in Telangana during endline assessment (66.1%, PR=0.6, 95% CI: 0.48-0.74). A visible change with section 5 of COTPA was observed in Telangana (40.08 to 93.12%, PR=0.04, 95% CI: 0.02-0.07). Compliance with section 6a of COTPA decreased in Puducherry (81.34 to 71.83%, PR=1.84, 95% CI: 1.14-2.95) and increased for Meghalaya and Telangana. The average compliance with sections 7, 8 and 9 (for Puducherry 51.09 vs. 48.8%, Meghalaya 54.94 vs. 46.18% and Telangana 73 vs. 51.91%, respectively) decreased in all States. An increase in average compliance was observed with sections 4 and 5 (P=0.19 and 0.11, respectively) and a decrease with sections 7, 8 and 9 (P=0.02) of COTPA in all three States. For sections 6a (P=0.06) and 6b (P=0.01), a mixed response was noted.

INTERPRETATION CONCLUSION: The findings of this study suggest that the level of compliance with sections 4 and 5 of COTPA increased because they are strictly monitored compared to sections 7-9, which are less enforced by the States. There is a need to monitor sections 7-9 (pack warning) to fulfill the objectives related to the World Health Organization (WHO) Framework Convention on Tobacco Control.

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