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Compliance with smoke-free legislation and smoking behaviour: observational field study from Punjab, India


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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