India: More than 6.25 lakh children smoke cigarette daily, reveals study

As per a global study, more than 6.25 lakh children in India smoke cigarette every day. Consumption of tobacco claims 17,887 lives in the country every week, claimed a Global Tobacco Atlas study. In India, in the year 2016, 82.12 billion cigarettes were produced


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  • The report prepared by American Cancer Society (ACS) and US-based Vital Strategies claimed that the economic cost of smoking in India is Rs 18,18,691 million.
  • More than 4,29,500 boys and 1,95,500 girls smoke cigarette each day.
  • More than 9,03,42,900 men and 1,34,66,600 women smoke cigarettes every day, while 17,10,94,600 people use smokeless tobacco.

Dr S K Arora, additional director, health government of Delhi said, “Smoking, hookah and e-cigarettes are very much popular amongst children.  Tobacco industry considers schoolgoing children as their potential consumers for the future and tries to attract them through advertisements.  Since the last 3 years, I have been writing letters to CBSE and NCERT to introduce a chapter on tobacco control from class 5th to 12th to spread awareness.”

He added, “We can protect our children if the schools stringently implement the tobacco-free school policy. Through which every school has to be declared tobacco-free. There is a tobacco-free school committee which conducts awareness programmes. Awareness can be created if the school’s implement this policy. In Delhi for the last two months, we are intensively implementing this policy. Almost, all the government schools have been declared tobacco-free and 70% of the private schools have been declared tobacco-free. More than 15,000 students were sensitised and took anti-tobacco pledge.”

Recently, Mumbai’s Prince Aly Khan Hospital’s Health Service Aga Khan, had conducted a survey amongst school-going children regarding cigarette smoking.

The survey revealed:

27% children are addicted to cigarette smoking

6.3% children consume hookah

24% children are addicted to tobacco products

9% children smoke cigarette currently

16% children mix tobacco in supari and consume it

71% boys and 20% of girls are addicted to smoking

54% children of class 10 smoke

94% were aware of the consequences. Still, continue to smoke