The unsolicited tobacco exposure among non-smokers has led to an increase in burden of tobacco related diseases. The Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products (COTPA) Act 2003 Section 4, 6 aims to reduce exposure to SHS. Tobacco-free hospital campus reduce exposure to environmental tobacco smoke. Awareness and compliance to COTPA are key to achieving its intended outcome. With this background, the present work was designed to assess the compliance and awareness among persons responsible for compliance (PRC) of Section-4 and 6 of COTPA in hospitals of Srinagar district of Jammu and Kashmir.
Methods: An observational cross – sectional study was conducted within Government hospitals. A total of 10 hospitals were selected using convenient sampling. The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health’s observational and interview checklist was used to for data collection. These places were observed for certain parameters of assessment by a structured checklist, which included evidence of active smoking, evidence of recent smoking, display of signages, presence of smoking aids, cigarette butts and bidi ends.
Results: The signs of active smoking were observed more in residential areas (66.7%). No smoking signages” board was displayed in 86% of the hospitals but compliance to content was found only 30%. Tobacco vendors were present in 80% in places around hospital buildings. 90% of persons responsible for compliance were aware of the existence of the COTPA law in public places. However, only (30%) knew that the provisions included a penalty for those who violated the provisions of the law.
Conclusions: Low compliance, coupled with the lack of appropriate awareness among PRCs about COTPA, demands a comprehensive strategy to enhance awareness and strict enforcement of the law.