Public Spitting Still Main Cause Spreading TB; Time to Spread Awareness?

As early as 1920s, anti-spitting awareness was the main focus of preventing TB all over the world.

While TB or tuberculosis is raising its ugly head again, more than its new drug-resistance character, the root-cause has come under focus. The public spitting, a habit indigenous to India since the ancient times, still persists, say authroties and doctors.

One of the worst offenders of public spitting are drivers of vehicles and paan-chewing public and no matter what the fine or warning, the habit goes uninhibited.

While smoking in public places has taken off of late, the public spitting still remains a menace and Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Swachh Bharat campaign has included it in the agenda but no concrete effort has been made so far to curb it.

Maharashtra Health minister Deepak Sawant recently said that anti-spitting rules will be implemented soon in Mumbai with more stringent norms.”We are checking whether to bring in a new legislation or amend the existing one in the next session,” he said.

Mentioning taxi and auto drivers, the Maharashtra minister was more forthcoming.”A law against spitting in public places is already in existence and in Mumbai, the BMC acts against people who spit in public. But it is not that effective.”

To push for the implementation of the prohibitory acts, he said the law should be made more effective and stringent, with teeth to punish offenders. “We will also check if we can suspend driving licence of a taxi or auto driver who spits in public places like roads,” he hinted.

The Central TB Division numbers show that India has the highest burden of TB with two million cases reported every year. WHO’s Global Tuberculosis Report also underscored the fact saying that India has the second highest MDR-TB burden in the world with an estimated 64,000 cases in 2012.

Out of them, only 14,000 people with MDR-TB have access to the treatment to stay alive, said they need to stay alive, Dr Simon Janes, medical coordinator with Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) in India.

While the prblem of treatment of TB still persists in the country, the cause of TB should be eradicated first to ensure that the number of victims comes down. The public offenders can be monitored with CCTVs on road junctions and traffic signals for violation of traffic rules.

It is high time the public spitting should made a social offense and awareness should be spread among people, drivers and paan-chewers to stop spitting in the public and often spreading the TB knowingly or unknowingly. Punishing on the spot goes a long way, indeed.


  1. It sickens me to see spitting in India. Its rampant and a habit for most. I wrote an article on spitting and TB for a national daily for its open page article but it did not even get a response from editorial team! I wrote to them for at least acknowledgement of articles and then they replied that they have received it….period. That is our national daily’s response to an article of such immense public health importance!

  2. Swach BHARAT will only be a dream if spitting in public places is not dealt stringently. Urge all the NGOS’s, actor/actress, politicians and common people interested in human welfare please take this as a matter of urgency to stop people from spitting. If one goes to see TB is a very difficult diseases to deal with it and MDRBT forget it, drugs are also inefficient on it, in such cases only avoiding(or preventing) such situation is the best way.
    United efforts are required.


    PUBLIC SPITTING: Everywhere on roads, corners, while talking it is spitting and do not understand the morality created by Hon’ble Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 15th August 2014 from the Red Fort. “Clean India Campaign” was inaugurated on 2nd October 2014. Only “picture focus” of cleaning are shown whereby leaders are not coming forward to take all with them put in best and sincere efforts to clean India. For example, visit Subzi Mandi Railway Station up to New Delhi Rly Station it will demonstrate the callousness of our spreading filth, garbage, old pieces of clothes/poly bags hanging on trees etc thrown from the residential quarters up near the main railway track. During the last 68 years we have been spreading filth now it is our time to create a show piece that India is clean just on a word of our Hon’ble Prime Minsiter. Without Prejudice.

  4. First of all cops need to control their habit of spitting then only they can stop other from spitting in public.

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