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Open Access Point-of-Sale Tobacco Advertising Remains Prominent in Mumbai, India

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Objectives: In India, a 2003 law (“COPTA”) banned tobacco advertising with the exception of “point of sale” and “on-pack” advertising. Given substantial evidence regarding the impact of point of sale advertising (PoS), we analyzed the prevalence of encountering such advertising in Mumbai, India. Methods: A survey was conducted of 199 current and recent former tobacco users recruited at the Tata Memorial Hospital (Mumbai). Enrollees were queried regarding their exposure to tobacco advertising in the last 30 days through multiple media sources. Descriptive epidemiologic techniques were used to characterize the data. Results: Overall, 95% of participants were men and 5% were women (mean age=49 years). All were current tobacco users or quit using all forms of tobacco in the last 60 days. Participants' responses revealed that PoS tobacco advertising had been encountered in the last 30 days for cigarettes (61%), bidis (54%), and smokeless tobacco (59%). Other forms of tobacco advertising were virtually non-existent. Conclusions: PoS tobacco advertising remains prominent and highly visible to consumers in Mumbai, India, indicating corporate exploitation of a loophole in the COPTA legislation. Given the observed compliance with the currently imposed bans, revisions of COPTA to include all forms of tobacco promotion and advertising would be impactful.

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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: July 1, 2016

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  • Tobacco Regulatory Science (Electronic ISSN 2333-9748) is a rigorously peer-reviewed online scientific journal for the dissemination of research relevant to the regulation of tobacco products. The journal content includes a broad array of research domains, including chemistry, biology, behavior, community, and population-level surveillance and epidemiology, as well as knowledge syntheses (eg, meta-analyses or state-of-the-art reviews) and analytic modeling. All articles describe the policy relevance of the research outcomes. Given the global nature of tobacco regulation, particularly as a result of international and national policies, Tobacco Regulatory Science publishes high quality research that is relevant to global regulatory needs and requirements. Tobacco Regulatory Science is published electronically 6 times per year.
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