Awareness and Implementation Status of Tobacco Policy Provisions among Students of Public Schools in Budhanilkantha Municipality, Nepal
Keywords:awareness, tobacco policy, implementation status, school, Nepal
Background: The tobacco epidemic was responded globally with the enforcement of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC), a first public health treaty, on 27 February 2005. As a party and signatory country to FCTC, Nepal ratified the tobacco product (control and regulation) act in 2011. After endorsement of the act and other related tobacco policy documents, it is necessary to measure awareness level and the implementation status among different stakeholders including adolescent students. This study aimed to assess the awareness and implementation status of tobacco policy provisions in the students of Budhanilkantha Municipality of Kathmandu district, Nepal.
Methods: This study was a school-based cross-sectional survey. A total of 378 students were recruited from five schools of Budhanilkantha municipality of Kathmandu, Nepal. The self-administered questionnaires were adapted from the Global Youth Tobacco Survey (GYTS) tool of the World Health Organization and youth-tobacco survey tool of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to collect the data.
Results: The study showed that less than half of the participants (45.8%) knew that there is a tobacco product (control and regulatory) act in Nepal. Similarly, two-thirds (65.9%) of the participants responded that they were aware of the selling of tobacco products to a person below 18 years was legally prohibited in Nepal. In terms of tobacco laws enforcement, 66.2% of the participants were not prevented from buying tobacco products because of their age.
Conclusions: More than half of the students were found unaware of tobacco control policies of Nepal, despite the students are the key target stakeholders of tobacco control policies. Additionally, implementation of policy provisions related to protecting the students from tobacco in school or home is not effectively enforced although Nepal has comprehensive tobacco control policies.