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Tobacco-free School Policy in Maharashtra, India: A Qualitative Exploration of Implementation Facilitators and Barriers

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Objective: Tobacco-free school (TFS) policy is critical for preventing tobacco use among adolescents. In this study, we explored the facilitators and barriers in implementing the TFS policy in rural India. Methods: Qualitative interviews were conducted with school and community stake-holders in 6 districts in Maharashtra state. Results : Facilitating factors are a motivated teacher, supportive principal, student advocates, and engaged community stakeholders. Barriers include disinterested teachers, lack of ownership by school management, community norms surrounding tobacco use, and economic factors related to tobacco sales. Conclusions: Currently, TFS implementation relies on motivated individual teachers and organizational ownership is lacking. Successful implementation will require a conducive organizational culture in schools, connecting TFS to overall school development, and synergy between education and health departments.
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Keywords: ADOLESCENT HEALTH; RURAL INDIA; SCHOOL HEALTH POLICY; TOBACCO-FREE SCHOOLS

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: May 1, 2018

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  • Health Behavior and Policy Review is a rigorously peer-reviewed scholarly bi-monthly publication that seeks manuscripts on health behavior or policy topics that represent original research, including papers that examine the development, advocacy, implementation, or evaluation of policies around specific health issues. The Review especially welcomes papers that tie together health behavior and policy recommendations. Articles are available through subscription or can be ordered individually from the Health Behavior and Policy Review site.
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