Intended for healthcare professionals


Doctors must ask patients about tobacco use, conference hears

BMJ 2013; 347 doi: (Published 18 September 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;347:f5676
  1. Ganapati Mudur
  1. 1New Delhi

Gaps in tobacco legislation, poor enforcement, and meagre efforts by doctors to discourage patients from using tobacco are obstructing India’s efforts to curb tobacco consumption, a survey to evaluate the impact of a decade of legislation has found.

The survey by the International Tobacco Control Policy Evaluation Project, whose findings from India were released on 12 September at an international conference on tobacco in New Delhi, has indicated that India’s ban on smoking in public places is neither comprehensive nor routinely enforced.1

The International Conference on Public Health Priorities in the 21st century: the Endgame for Tobacco, was intended to discuss strategies to achieve the target of 30% reduction in tobacco consumption by 2025 that was adopted by the World Health Assembly in May this year.

India, estimated to have 275 million people who consume tobacco, prohibited tobacco advertisements in 2004, banned smoking in …

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