Men smok­ers in In­dia cross 100 mil­lion

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - NEWS - Sanchita Sharma san­chi­tasharma@hin­dus­tan­times.com

More men are smok­ing in In­dia than ever be­fore, with the num­ber ris­ing by more than a third from 79 mil­lion in 1998 to 108 mil­lion in 2015, re­port re­searchers in the jour­nal BMJ Global Health.

Smok­ing rates h ave n’ t in­creased for women, though, with 11 mil­lion women smok­ing in In­dia in 2015, the study found.

Only China has more adult smok­ers — 300 mil­lion — than In­dia, where more than one in four adults also uses smoke­less and chew­ing to­bacco.

To­bacco- con­trol mea­sures, such as ban­ning smok­ing in pub­lic places, haven’t helped much. They led to a fall in smok­ing preva­lence from 27% in 1998 to 24% in 2010 among men aged 15-69 years, but the mod­est gains were off­set by ris­ing pop­u­la­tion and in­comes.

“Dur­ing this pe­riod, In­dia added about 1.7 mil­lion male smok­ers each year, with roughly an equal num­ber smok­ing cig­a­rettes and bidis,” said the study’s co-au­thor Dr Prakash C Gupta, di­rec­tor, Healis-Sekhsaria In­sti­tute of Pub­lic Health, Mum­bai.

The study found that 61 mil­lion In­dian adult men smoked cig­a­rettes (40 mil­lion ex­clu­sively) and 69 mil­lion smoked bidis (48 mil­lion ex­clu­sively).

CON­TIN­UED ON P11

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