Maha: More minors resort to smoking, says survey

Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS) Maharashtra, fact sheet was released on Friday, revealed that overall tobacco use prevalence declined among adults in Maharashtra but more sustained efforts are required to reduce tobacco use prevalence. Also, prevalence of tobacco use among age group of 15 to 17 has increased from 2.9 per cent to 5.5 per cent

 

P-C-Dipak-Sawant

The Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS) is a global standard for systematically monitoring adult tobacco use (smoking and smokeless) and tracking key tobacco control indicators.

The second round of Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS 2) 2016-2017 released on Friday, revealed that overall tobacco use prevalence has declined among adults in Maharashtra- from 31.4 per cent in the year 2009 to 2010 (GATS1) to 26.6 per cent (GATS 2) in the year 2016 to 2017. Smoking has decreased by 3.2 per cent though (from 27.6 to 24.4 per cent).

Dr Deepak Sawant, state health minister said, “Findings from Global Adult Tobacco Survey conducted in India have added substantially to the knowledge about the tobacco use in the state and will be a valuable source of information for strengthening tobacco control policies and prevention programmes in Maharashtra.”

However, khaini and gutka remain the most commonly used tobacco products in the state as 15.5 per cent of the adults use khaini and 8.6 per cent of adults use gutka. The age of initiation has also gone low, which is an alarming situation.

“The disturbing trend here is that the age of initiation is coming down,” said Dr Pradeep Vyas, principal secretary, public health and family welfare.

“As such, the overall tobacco use prevalence declined among adults in Maharashtra from 31.4 per cent  in the year 2009 to 10 to 26.6 per cent in the year  2016 to 2017 is a very encouraging result,” said Arun Kumar Jha, economic advisor, ministry of health and family welfare, GOI (Government Of India).

Researcher Sulabha Parasuraman, Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS)  said, “One in every 3 adult men and one in every 6 adult women use tobacco.”

“If we were to get rid of tobacco, at least 50 per cent of health problems in the country will be wiped out,” said Dr Rajendra Badwe, Director, Tata Memorial Centre.

Findings of the survey:

  • 6.0 per cent of men, 1.4 per cent of women and 3.8 per cent of all adults currently smoke tobacco
  • Also, prevalence of tobacco use among age group of 15 to 17 has increased from 2.9 per cent to 5.5 per cent
  • From GATS 1 and 2, there has been a significant decrease in prevalence of smoking
  • Every 5th adult who worked indoors was exposed to second hand smoke at workplace
  • The mean age of initiation of tobacco use has decreased from 18.5 years in GATS 1 to 17.4 years in GATS 2
  • Khaini and gutka are 2 most commonly used tobacco products