Consumption by minors has increased, claims Global Adult Tobacco Survey.
Mumbai: A report compiled by state and Central government agencies, the Tata Institute of Social Science (TISS) and the trust-run Tata Memorial Hospital (TMH) has revealed an overall decline of tobacco use among adults in Maharashtra, from 31.4 per cent in 2009-10 to 26.6 per cent in 2016-17.
Smoking has decreased by 3.2 per cent (from 27.6 per cent to 24.4 per cent) while use of oral (smokeless) tobacco in women stands at 8.2 per cent, higher than men’s at 1.9 per cent.
Meanwhile, ‘khaini’ and ‘gutka’ remain the most commonly used tobacco products in the state, as 15.5 per cent of the adults consume khaini and 8.6 per cent
of adults consume gutka.
These details were revealed in the Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GSAT-2) of 2016-17, which was released by health minister Dr Deepak Sawant at the THM on Friday.
A total of 1,517 males and 1,624 females from the age of 15 to 60 years were interviewed for the survey between November and December in 2016-17.
The report also stated that the number of minors in the age group of 15-17 who have been initiated into the use of tobacco has increased from 2.9 to 5.5 per cent in the case of smokers, while in smokeless tobacco use is 2.9 to 5.4 per cent, which is an alarming situation.
Dr Sawant said smokeless tobacco is a major issue in rural areas and the same holds true for smoking tobacco in urban areas.
“We have a decline ratio compared to the previous years’ studies but the number of young patients is still high, which is worrisome, the mean age at initiation of tobacco use has decreased from 18.5 years in GATS-1 to 17.4 years in GATS-2,” the minister added.
Dr Pankaj Chaturvedi, professor and surgeon, TMH, said, “The number of female smokers, especially in urban areas, are on the rise. The reason may be peer pressure or the myth that smoking reduces weight. Such things need to curbed with the proper understanding that active or passive smoking is injurious to health.”
GATS-2 data further reveals that more than half the current tobacco users want to quit — 56.7 per cent of smokers and 54.2 percent chewers in Maharashtra — which is significantly higher than those who attempted to quit in 2009-10.