The history of tobacco in India is long and intricate, deeply entwined in its culture and economics. India has been a significant producer and consumer of tobacco for centuries but its widespread use, particularly in the form of smoking beedi and chewing, has raised significant concerns for public health. India is home to one of the world’s largest populations of tobacco users, with approximately one in every three adults using some form of tobacco (GATS,2017). Recognizing these challenges, the Indian government has taken measures to curb tobacco consumption, including graphic warnings on packaging, ban on advertising, and imposing high taxes on tobacco products.
However, its time to review the policies of the government in tobacco control. As the Conference of the Parties(COP 10) to the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) approaches its next meeting, it is crucial to review India’s progress on tobacco control and shed light on strategy and supporting evidence for tobacco harm reduction. The COP is the governing body of the FCTC and is composed of representatives from the countries that are parties to the treaty.
This Report is submitted in line with Section 7, Article 4 of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, highlighting the crucial role of civil society participation in achieving the Convention’s goals and recognizing the established practice of encouraging inputs to enhance the evidence base. It offers alternative insights and perspectives on the status of FCTC implementation in India thus contributing to the ongoing discourse surrounding tobacco harm reduction in India by emphasising the importance of a comprehensive approach that aligns with international human rights principles.