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Compliance with smoke-free legislation and smoking behaviour: observational field study from Punjab, India
  1. Sonu Goel1,
  2. Deepak Sharma2,
  3. Rakesh Gupta3,
  4. Vini Mahajan3
  1. 1 School of Public Health, Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, India
  2. 2 Department of Community Medicine, Government Medical College, Chandigarh, India
  3. 3 Department of Health and Family Welfare, Government of Punjab, Punjab, India
  1. Correspondence to Dr Sonu Goel, Additional Professor of Health Management, School of Public Health, Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh; sonugoel007{at}


Background Indian smoke-free legislation requires prohibition of smoking at public places and owners of public places to display ‘no smoking’ signages.

Aims and objectives The study aims to assess the compliance of public places with smoke-free legislation and determine the factors associated with active smoking in public places.

Methodology This was a cross-sectional analytic observational quantitative survey conducted by a team of trained field investigators using a structured observational checklist across 6875 public places in Punjab state of India. The study was carried out over a period of 3 years.

Results A total of 6875 public places across 22 districts of Punjab were observed. The overall compliance to smoke-free law in Punjab was 83.8%. The highest overall compliance was observed in healthcare facilities (89.6%) and least in transit stations (78.8%). Less active smoking was observed in public places where display of ‘no smoking’ signage compliant with smoke-free law of India was present (adjusted OR 0.6). Further, there was a positive association between active smoking and places where the owner of public places smoked (OR 5.2, CI 2.5 to 11.1).

Conclusion More than 80% of the public places in a jurisdiction in north India were compliant with the smoke-free legislation of India. ‘No smoking’ signages displayed as per legislation have an effect on curbing smoking behaviours at public places. It is recommended that policymakers should focus more on implementing the smoke-free law at transit sites and structured training sessions should be organised for owners of workplaces.

  • smoke-free legislation
  • smoking behaviour
  • India

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  • Contributors SG conceptualised the study, implemented and supervised the field work. SG and DS were involved in data analysis and report writing. RK and VM provided guidance in designing and executing the field work.

  • Funding This study received partial funding from the state of Punjab.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Ethics approval The State Tobacco Control Cell, Punjab, and Institute Ethics Committee of PGIMER, Chandigarh.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.