The Punjab government has decided to assess the prevalence of tobacco use in the state with the help of the School of Public Health, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER), Chandigarh.
Stating this on Tuesday, a government spokesman said the state health department, in collaboration with the PGIMER, would conduct two kinds of surveys in various districts to ascertain the effect of tobacco-control activities in the state in the past few years.
Director, health and family welfare, Dr Bhag Mal stated that in the first phase, a door-to-door survey would be conducted in the districts of Hoshiarpur, Bathinda and Amritsar as per the global adult tobacco survey (GATS) protocol.
It would assess the prevalence of tobacco use and the impact of the ban of loose cigarettes and flavoured chewable tobacco on tobacco users as well as vendors.
In the second phase, a comprehensive compliance study of the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act (COTPA) would be carried out in 10 districts (Jalandhar, Kapurthala, Amritsar, Fatehgarh Sahib, Sangrur, SAS Nagar, Nawanshahr, Gurdaspur, Rupnagar and Patiala).
It was stated that all districts of Punjab had been earlier declared “tobacco-smoke free” on the basis of compliance studies conducted by the PGIMER.