As you have been the principal investigator of the ICSSR-IMPRESS project on ‘Media and Tobacco Cessation’. So, can you please discuss with us in brief about the role of the media in promoting and reducing tobacco use?
Mass Media has both positive and negative impacts on tobacco consumption habits. The media had been a great promoter of tobacco to establish it as part of social status and masculine style and authority. Ban imposed on any kind of publicity of tobacco products was the result of suggestions of research-based conclusions. Adequate communication strategy can be effective input in spreading information and knowledge as well as in transforming the beliefs and values of individuals and communities about tobacco use and its ill effects. Control over the tobacco promotion messages can curb the habits of tobacco uses and it should be part of tobacco control policies and programs.
(Dr. Raghavendra Mishra, Indira Gandhi National Tribal University, Amarkantak)