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Journal of School Health. 2008 Jul; 78(7):368-373.India made 2 important policy statements regarding tobacco control in the past decade. First, the India Tobacco Control Act (ITCA) was signed into law in 2003 with the goal to reduce tobacco consumption and protect citizens from exposure to secondhand smoke (SHS). Second, in 2005, India ratified the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC). During this same period, India conducted the Global Youth Tobacco Survey (GYTS) in 2003 and 2006 in an effort to track tobacco use among adolescents. The GYTS is a school-based survey of students aged 13-15 years. Representative national estimates for India in 2003 and 2006 were used in this study. In 2006, 3.8% of students currently smoked cigarettes and 11.9% currently used other tobacco products. These rates were not significantly different than those observed in 2003. Over the same period, exposure to SHS at home and in public places significantly decreased, whereas exposure to pro-tobacco ads on billboards and the ability to purchase cigarettes in a store did not change significantly. The ITCA and the WHO FCTC have had mixed impacts on the tobacco control effort for adolescents in India. The positive impacts have been the reduction in exposure to SHS, both at home and in public places. The negative impacts are seen with the lack of change in pro-tobacco advertising and ability to purchase cigarettes in stores. The Government of India needs to consider new and stronger provisions of the ITCA and include strong enforcement measures. (author's)
Eliminating female genital mutilation: an interagency statement. OHCHR, UNAIDS, UNDP, UNECA, UNESCO, UNFPA, UNHCR, UNICEF, UNIFEM, WHO.
Geneva, Switzerland, World Health Organization [WHO], 2008. 41 p.The term 'female genital mutilation' (also called 'female genital cutting' and 'female genital mutilation/cutting') refers to all procedures involving partial or total removal of the external female genitalia or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons. Between 100 and 140 million girls and women in the world are estimated to have undergone such procedures, and 3 million girls are estimated to be at risk of undergoing the procedures every year. Female genital mutilation has been reported to occur in all parts of the world, but it is most prevalent in: the western, eastern, and north-eastern regions of Africa, some countries in Asia and the Middle East and among certain immigrant communities in North America and Europe. Female genital mutilation has no known health benefits. On the contrary, it is known to be harmful to girls and women in many ways. First and foremost, it is painful and traumatic. The removal of or damage to healthy, normal genital tissue interferes with the natural functioning of the body and causes several immediate and long-term health consequences. For example, babies born to women who have undergone female genital mutilation suffer a higher rate of neonatal death compared with babies born to women who have not undergone the procedure. (excerpt)