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WHO South East Asia J Public Health. 2013 Jan-Mar;2(1):52-56. doi: 10.4103/2224-3151.115843.

Assessing compliance to smoke-free legislation: results of a sub-national survey in Himachal Pradesh, India.

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The Union South East Asia Office, International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Diseases (The Union), New Delhi, India.
Directorate Health Service, Department of Health and Family Welfare, Himachal Pradesh, Shimla, India.



Exposure to second-hand smoke (SHS) is a serious public health concern. The Indian smoke-free legislation 'Prohibition of Smoking in Public Places Rules, 2008' prohibits smoking in public places, including workplaces.


To measure the status of compliance to legal provisions that protects the public against harms of SHS exposure, identifies the potential areas of violations and informs policy makers for strengthening enforcement measures.


A cross-sectional survey in 1401 public places across 11 district headquarters in Himachal Pradesh, India, using a compliance guide developed by partners of the Bloomberg initiatives to reduce tobacco use.


In 1401 public places across 11 district headquarters, 42.8% public places had signage; in 84.2% public places, no smoking was observed and in 83.7%, there was absence of smoking accessories such as ashtray, matchbox and lighter . Tobacco litter like cigarette butts was absent in 64.7% of the public places. Overall, at the state level, there was more than 80% compliance on at least three of the five indicators. Among all categories of public places, educational institutions and offices demonstrated highest compliance, whereas most frequently visited public places, eateries and accommodation facilities had least compliance.


The compliance to 'Prohibition of Smoking in Public Places Rules, 2008' was variable in various district headquarters of Himachal Pradesh. This study identified the potential areas of violations that need attention from enforcement agencies and policymakers.

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