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Wake up call for tobacco users
Published on 24 Oct. 2010 12:30 AM IST
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India is the second largest consumer of tobacco in the world notwithstanding several anti-tobacco measures of the government, about one million persons die due to tobacco-related diseases every year and this reflects a higher mortality than the combined deaths resulting from other major diseases such as tuberculosis, HIV AIDS and malaria in this country, Indian Express reports.
The prevalence of tobacco use among all the states and Union Territories ranges from the highest of 67% in Mizoram to the lowest of 9% in Goa. Prevalence of tobacco use in Arunachal Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Madya Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Odisha, Sikkim, Tripura, Assam and West Bengal is higher than the national average. In most of the states and Union Territories the prevalence of both smoking and smokeless tobacco use among males is higher than among females with exceptions in Puducherry, Tamil Nadu, Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram, where prevalence of smokeless tobacco is higher among females than males
The first Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS) – India 2010 recently released has revealed that Tobacco is the single most common preventable cause of death in the world after road accidents causing nearly five million deaths annually across the globe. Majority of cancers, cardiovascular and lung diseases resulting from tobacco use also reflect a very high health cost burden.
The GATS-India report is a wakeup call to the policymakers and the government that its anti-tobacco measures are not enough to contain the menace. The central government says that the implementation of COPTA Act 2003 is the responsibility of the state governments.
Estimated number of tobacco users in India 274.9 million
Smokeless tobacco 163.7 million
Smokers 68.9 million
Both users 42.3 million
Males 48%
Females 20%
More than one-third Indian adults use tobacco 35%
Smokeless tobacco users 21%
Smokers 9%
Both smoke/smokeless 5%
Smokeless Tobacco Products
Khaini or tobacco-lime mixture 12%
Gutkha, a mixture of tobacco, lime and areca nut 8%
Betel quid with tobacco 6%
Applying tobacco as dentifrice 5%
(The prevalence of each of the smokeless tobacco products, except dentifrice, is higher among males than female)
Smoking Tobacco products
Bidi, leaf-wrapped tobacco sticks (9%)
Cigarette (6%)
Hookah (1%)
Tobacco Smoking/Smokeless
Among both males and females, cigarette smoking is higher in urban areas but the prevalence of all other smoking products is higher in rural areas. Higher in rural than urban areas, however, gutkha is almost equally prevalent in both urban and rural areas.
Average Daily Smoker
Cigarette smokers: 6.2 cigarette sticks per day
Bidi smokers: 11.6 bidi sticks per day.
(One-fourth of daily cigarette smokers smoke more than 10 cigarettes per day and more than half of the daily bidi smokers smoke more than 10 bidis per day.)
Adults exposed to second-hand smoke (SHS)
Rural areas (home) 58%
Urban areas (home) 39%
Highest in Mizoram 97%
Lowest in Tamil Nadu 10%
Exposure to SHS at workplaces
Indoors/Outdoors 30%.
Highest J&K 68%
Lowest Chandigarh 15%
Exposure to SHS at public places
Highest in Meghalaya 54%
Lowest in Chandigarh 11%

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