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Rediff.com  » Getahead » World No Tobacco Day: Why Indians cannot kick the butt

World No Tobacco Day: Why Indians cannot kick the butt

May 31, 2018 14:20 IST

Seven out of 10 smokers in India are aware that smoking is dangerous.
Yet, 53 percent have been unsuccessful in their attempts to quit, a study has revealed.

World No Tobacco Day: Why Indians cannot kick the butt

Photograph:  Anurag Bishwas/Wikimedia Creative Commons

The international non-profit organisation Foundation for a Smoke-Free World had conducted a world-wide survey to analyse the smoking habits of people across the world.

For the survey, a sample of 17,000 participants across 13 countries -- New Zealand, US, UK, France, Brazil, Japan, Israel, Russia, Malawi, South Africa, Lebanon, India and Greece -- were considered.

According to the survey, nearly seven of 10 smokers in India are aware that smoking is dangerous. Yet, 53 percent have been unsuccessful in their attempts to quit.

'The data shows what we have anecdotally known for decades -- that many smokers have the desire to quit, but not the means to match it,' Derek Yach, president of Foundation for a Smoke-Free World said.

The India story

Some of the key findings of the survey for India:

  • 68 per cent of smokers reported that they are 'well informed' about the impact of smoking on one’s health.
  • 51 per cent of smokers said they are planning to quit.
  • 41 per cent of smokers who tried to quit said they would need assistance to do so.
  • 25 per cent of smokers are using e-cigarette or vaping device to cut down smoking.

More than 104 million people in India continue to imperil their health by using combusted tobacco every day, the report stated.

According to the Foundation, locally made bidis, which are low-cost and hand-rolled cigarettes account for a significant proportion of tobacco use in India.

Their popularity, the study revealed, is attributed to lower tax excise than conventional cigarettes or to tax evasion altogether.

Rediff Get Ahead Bureau