Asia Region – India

Supporting a smokeless tobacco campaign in India (2011) –I million tobacco users die from tobacco caused diseases in India annually. 1 in 7 Indians will be also sickened and many will die annually from the use of oral tobacco. Smokeless tobacco is the highest prevalence of tobacco use in the country and the cause of a significant burden of disease. The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare of the Union Government sought support from the World Lung Foundation (WLF) to develop a smokeless tobacco mass media campaign to raise awareness and build personal risk perceptions of tobacco users from 16-44 years of age. A CPI consultant worked with the Bloomberg funded initiative to develop a ‘raw and real’ campaign featuring a surgeon and his patients at the busy Tata Memorial Hospital Head Neck and Throat cancer ward in Mumbai.

The final TVC and radio campaign was dubbed into 11 languages and screened nationally. An evaluation study, based on a nationally representative household survey of almost 5000 tobacco users in both urban and rural areas, was used to evaluate the campaign. Results found that 63% of chewing tobacco users recalled the campaign and, among those, 75% said it made them feel concerned about their habit. 80% of chewing tobacco users who saw the campaign said it provided them with new information and a significant number were also more likely to seriously consider quitting smokeless tobacco use. Campaign awareness was associated with better knowledge, more anti-smokeless tobacco attitudes and greater cessation-oriented intentions and behaviours.

The highly successful campaign which was is believed to be the first of its kind in Asia saw a number of spin-offs. These included a reworking of the TV spot to feature the 24 year old victim–Mukesh, who subsequently died from his cancer, as well as a highly graphic website called A mobile telephony campaign was also undertaken which saw more than 2 million SMS smokeless tobacco messages sent nationally across India. A billboard campaign featuring ‘Mukesh’ was also implemented to support proposed legislation to ban chewing tobacco products in small plastic sachets.
  Click the thumbnail to view the Surgeon Smokeless Tobacco Campaign public service announcement
  Click the thumbnail to view the Mukesh Smokeless Tobacco Campaign social media website page video
Mukesh Billboard
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