Introduction South Asia is home to more than 300 million smokeless tobacco (ST) users. Bangladesh, India and Pakistan as signatories to the Framework Convention for Tobacco Control (FCTC) have developed policies aimed at curbing the use of tobacco. The objective of this study is to assess the compliance of ST point-of-sale (POS) vendors and the supply chain with the articles of the FCTC and specifically with national tobacco control laws. We also aim to assess disparities in compliance with tobacco control laws between ST and smoked tobacco products. Methods and analysis The study will be carried out at two sites each in Bangladesh, India and Pakistan. We will conduct a sequential mixed-methods study with five components: (1) mapping of ST POS, (2) analyses of ST samples packaging, (3) observation, (4) survey interviews of POS and (5) in-depth interviews with wholesale dealers/suppliers/manufacturers of ST. We aim to conduct at least 300 POS survey interviews and observations, and 6-10 in-depth interviews in each of the three countries. Data collection will be done by trained data collectors. The main statistical analysis will report the frequencies and proportions of shops that comply with the FCTC and local tobacco control policies, and provide a 95% CI of these estimates. The qualitative in-depth interview data will be analysed using the framework approach. The findings will be connected, each component informing the focus and/or design of the next component. Ethics and dissemination Ethical approvals for the study have been received from the Health Sciences Research Governance Committee at the University of York, UK. In-country approvals were taken from the National Bioethics Committee in Pakistan, the Bangladesh Medical Research Council and the Indian Medical Research Council. Our results will be disseminated via scientific conferences, peer-reviewed research publications and press releases.
- public health
- qualitative research
- statistics & research methods