Two previous studies by IPS on tobacco smoking controlling in Sri Lanka confirm that (a) there exists a vast unmet demand for tobacco cessation programmes in the country and (b) community-based smoking cessation interventions are more suitable for the Sri Lankan context. Further, these studies also affirm that there is a strong community support for controlling tobacco smoking, even among the high prevalence smoking groups (i.e., the Last Mile Smokers). Lack of targeted cessation support programmes, ineffectiveness in existing cessation support programmes, implementation gaps, influence and tactics of tobacco company and lack of awareness of smokers on existing cessation programmes are key contributing factors for the demand gap for cessation services.
In this back drop, this study proposes ‘Tobacco Free Zone’ (TFZ) model, that is a community tobacco cessation intervention as a policy option for tobacco smoking cessation in Sri Lanka. It studies the successes, failures, challenges and opportunities of the model and explores the possibilities of expanding ongoing ‘TFZ’ programme.