While it is well-known, that smoking can cause cancer and a host of other respiratory illness. Early exposure to smoking can make vulnerable to the guilty pleasure of smoking and lead them astray, when it comes to taking care of their health
A new report reveals that tobacco companies are using vendors and targeting children, around schools through dirty tricks such as having point of sale nearby, discreet advertising, distribution of free samples of tobacco products, discounted tobacco products etc.
The key findings of the study revealed the following:
- 5% of the sellers offered free tobacco products to children. And 37.5% offered price discounts on tobacco products.
- Investigators documented that, at the 225 tobacco points of sale observed, 91% of displays were at 1 meter – a child’s eye level; 90% of displays were beside candy, sweets and other items for children; and 54% of the points of sale had no visible health warning.
In India, Consumer Voice and Voluntary Health Association of India, conducted a Tiny Targets study, in order to determine the extent of tobacco products being marketed and sold around schools in India.
As per the study, a total sample of 243 schools and 487 points of sale were closely surveyed in 20 cities.
Investigators documented that of the 225 tobacco points of sale, 32.5% of the sellers offered free tobacco products to children. And 37.5% offered price discounts on tobacco products.
Manvendra Jogdev, a counsellor at Pune’s Muktangan Rehabilitation centre, said, “According to central government data 37 per cent children begins smoking before the age of ten. Various acts of government of India make it clear that it is illegal to target children with tobacco.”
“The early exposure to tobacco makes it difficult to leave it in adulthood. We get many cases where the exposure to tobacco for the first time was during childhood. It hampers mental and physical well-being of an individual since childhood,” added Jogdev.
Dr Minish Jain, an oncologist from Pune, stated, “Everybody now knows that smoking causes cancer. But the chances of cancer caused due to smoking increases by a multifold, when it is being consumed since childhood. Early exposure to smoking is also leading to many childhood cases of cancer.”
Tobacco use statistics
- Tobacco use is estimated to cause more than 13 lakh deaths in India annually.
- One in 10 deaths in India is attributable to tobacco use.
- Per day, the number of tobacco-related deaths in India is 3,700 – almost 154 per hour.
- According to The Global Adult Tobacco Survey; India (2016-17), by Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW), nearly 28.6% of adults (15 years and above, use tobacco products.
- According to The Global Youth Tobacco Survey India, 14.6% of 13 -15 year old students in India use tobacco.
- As many as 11% of all male students surveyed were found to be users of smoking or smokeless tobacco
- While 6% of female students used smokeless tobacco and 3.7% smoked tobacco.
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