An average Indian female smoker smokes more cigarettes a day than male, 7 as compared with 6.1. Further, an average Indian woman is taking up smoking at 17.5 years as against 18.8 years among men, as reported by Kounteya Sinha for TOI. However, 21 percent Indian male tobacco users smoke daily as against only 3 percent of women. And almost half of Indian men (47.9 percent) aged 15 years and above consume tobacco.
Smokeless tobacco use is high among Indian men at 32.9 percent. Further, nearly 206 million Indians use smokeless form of tobacco (loose-leaf chewing tobacco and snuff). One in every five female tobacco users in India uses the smokeless form of tobacco as against one in 10 who smoke. These are the new numbers on global tobacco use, as published by the medical journal, Lancet.
It is noted that an average Indian smoker smokes two cigarettes a day. At 16.1 percent, men smoking bidis was common. The percentage of men who used both smoked and smokeless products was second highest in India at 9.3 percent.
China has the highest number of tobacco users (300.8 million), followed by India (274.9 million).
India has the most smokeless tobacco users at 205.9 million. The quit rate was noted to be low in India with less than 20 percent of adults who had ever smoked saying they had given up. China, Egypt, Russia and Bangladesh also have poor quit rates. Quit ratios were found to be highest in the UK, the U.S., Brazil and Uruguay, with over 35 percent of smokers saying they had stopped.
Dr K Srinath Reddy, president of Public Health Foundation of India told TOI “While tobacco use among men has dipped from 51 percent to 48 percent, it has actually doubled among women from 10 percent to 20 percent. Women and girls are the new target of tobacco companies. Increase of tobacco use among women is alarming. “
The study also revealed that manufactured cigarettes were favoured by most smokers (82 percent) overall, but smokeless tobacco and bidis were commonly used in India and Bangladesh. India recorded for 23 percent of men who were smokers during 2008-2010.
Further, with 6.1 mean cigarettes a day smoked, India showed the lowest figure among the 16 countries. At almost 33 percent, the country has the highest male smokeless tobacco users, just above Bangladesh (26.4 percent).
- 206 million Indians use smokeless tobacco: study (thehindu.com)
- How Tobacco Use Affects Your Oral Health (topdentists.com)