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Healis Sekhsaria Institute of Public Health

Year(s) :  2008, 2009, 2010
Grant Recipient Type :  NGO / Nonprofit
Budget :  $448,004
Contact Name :  Bill Bellew, The Union
Grantor :  International Union Against Tobacco and Lung Disease (The Union)/WLF
Project goal :  To develop AFTC's resource center to motivate the media to embrace tobacco control messages, provide training and research support for ongoing advocacy efforts, work with the local government to develop effective and comprehensive tobacco control programs, and build broad-based national capacity to sustain these activities.
Direct Grant :  No

The Union

Key achievement to date: FDA food inspectors have successfully enforced the smoking ban and collected fines for smoke-free activities.

Objective: This grant supports MPOWER letter goals including P and E, to Protect people from tobacco smoke and to Enforce bans on tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship.
Major accomplishments to date:

  • Undertook direct interactions with media personnel; press releases issued and articles written to increase awareness about smoke-free and pack warnings issues; generated earned media.
  • Communications tool kit developed; created database of pro-tobacco control journalists.
  • Organized media workshop for 23 reporters from leading newspapers and broadcast publications.
  • Disseminated key findings of smoke-free and pack warnings polls.
  • Press conference organized to highlight key tobacco control issues around implementation of Smoke-free Law.
  • Engaged media to oppose High Court ruling permitting on-screen smoking and deferral of pictorial warnings.
  • Released magazine titled "Tobacco Kills" and disseminated it to AFTC members and policy makers.
  • Contributed to the ban on sale of hookahs in Mumbai; released key findings of bidis monograph during WNTD.
  • Organized letter writing campaign, generating strong public opinion against tobacco industry.
  • Undertook successful smoke-free worksite promotion campaign; engaged colleges in the campaign.
  • Eight AFTC meeting organized and coordinated by Healis in Mumbai in January 2009.
  • Media orientation and training session conducted; communications roadmap developed.
  • 16 press releases issued and 24 media articles and 2 case studies written; documentary created about pack warnings.
  • Smoke-free initiative held during multi cultural Kalaghoda festival.
  • Website agency identified; domain registration completed; website developed:
  • Database created of journals and books for information clearing house.
  • Undertook dialogue and shared information about tobacco control statistics; sensitized officials.
  • Selected by Government of India to train senior government officials to develop Maharashtra State Tobacco Cell action plan; organized toolkits for Ministry of Health; supported enforcement of smoking ban, leading to collection of fines.
  • Disseminated simplified version of Government notification prohibiting smoking in public places; signs widely posted.
  • Generated support among educational institution principals and Secretary General of Western India Hotel Associations to implement smoking ban.
  • Healis selected as permanent representative to National Inter -Ministerial task force and NGO member of State-level Tobacco Control Cell in Maharashtra; state-level Tobacco Control Cell activated; meetings held.
  • Four research studies developed and completed about awareness and attitudes towards: (i) implementation of tobacco control laws in India among general population; (ii) tobacco control laws among media personnel; (iii) implementation of pictorial warnings on cigarette packs; and (iv) effect of increased prices on tobacco use among tobacco users; data analysis and report writing completed and results disseminated.
World Lung Foundation
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