TOBACCO CONTROL ADVOCACY PROGRAM IN GOA
- Advocacy in various schools and colleges on tobacco control
- Monitoring implementation of COTPA in Goa, initially in the Panaji area
- Using various media to increase awareness about tobacco control laws and hazards of using tobacco
- Research and documentation of all forms of tobacco (smoking/smokeless) being used in Goa
Work done so far: May – June 30, 2009
Monitoring implementation of COTPA in Panaji city: initiated in MAY 09:
- The Voluntary Health Association of Goa conducted a monitoring survey in Panjim city area. The aim was to randomly survey public places in the city area to check on implementation of the law. We covered various spaces that come under the purview of public places such as hotels, restaurants, bars, Govt offices, private offices, vendors selling tobacco, cinema halls, auditoriums etc.We also checked to see whether gadas/shops selling tobacco were operating within 100 yards of schools. As part of the survey, we asked various questions to the manager/owner/in charge of the public place. In addition we also made our own observations about the signages, location of signage etc.
- We developed and printed pamphlets on COTPA rules and ‘Tobacco-free Panaji’ stickers for this campaign. During the survey we distributed pamphlets with information regarding COTPA 2008 and also conducted a sticker campaign.
- We were able to cover 40 hotels, 49 restaurants and Bars, 38 offices, 8 Gadas, 4 shopping centres, 2 cinema halls, 2 Auditoriums.
Awareness through media: initiated in MAY 09:
Activities for 31st May 2009, World No Tobacco Day:
- The radio jingle created by VHAI was broadcast on FM rainbow on 30th May and 1st June at various intervals through out the two days
- All local newspapers were sent press releases about Pictorial warnings and VHAG campaign work. However, only a couple of them published the same
- VHAG also worked on an awareness campaign on campus, around the office area. We spoke to local people about the laws, distributed pamplets/ stickers and gave information.
- All local Cable channels – Goa365, Prudent Media, HCN, ran public service messages on harmful effects of Tobacco distributed by VHAG (obtained from NOTE) for 4-5 days around 31st May.
- VHAG ran the public service messages on the television screens at the KTC (main) bus stand at Panaji on 31st May. These messages are still being shown at regular intervals on the screens.
- VHAG also distributed pamphlets about the law to various consumer forums located all over Goa in association with GoaCan (NGO)
School Advocacy: initiated in JUNE 09:
- We selected 20 Schools in Vasco and Panaji based on their response and assessment after last years school health promotion program.
- We are also encouraging students to do project work in their communities with the help of IEC material. We are encouraging children to be advocates of tobacco control in their own homes and communities to create tobacco free homes.
- We have developed IEC material in the form of pamphlets- information on tobacco and Health effects of tobacco which will be distributed to school children for their project work
- We have extended the Tobacco awareness campaign to South Goa this year in Vasco area. 8 schools have shown interest in participating in the campaign.
- So far, we have conducted awareness sessions using Power point presentations and activity workshops in 15 schools, covering more than 1900 students and teachers from Std 5- 10th.
Voluntary Health Association of Goa (VHAG) organised a workshop in collaboration with the Goa Civic and Consumer Action Network (GOACAN) to discuss the ‘Global and Indian scenario of Tobacco Control advocacy and current Tobacco Control Legislation in India & Goa’ on 10th August in Margao and 12 th August in Panaji (Total 100 participants).
The workshop seeks to draw up a plan of Consumer Action in educational institutions and in the Community keeping in mind the health effects of consumption of Tobacco products and the importance of effective control on their Promotion & Sales.
Dr. Gladstone D’Costa – President of VHAG - gave a Presentation on introduction of VHAG and its work
Dr. Shanti Pamnani – Ex dean of GMC & professor of Bio chemistry - gave a Presentation on the Global and Indian scenario of Tobacco Control advocacy and current Tobacco Control Legislation in India & Goa.
We provided with a tobacco advocacy tool kit which consisted of pamphlets, CD (with Dr. Pamnani presentation and presentation for school childrens & Videos on harmfull effect of tobacco) booklet,posters,Gazzets on Tobacco laws.