Number of Indian young smokers down

Drop of six percentage points in young people in India using tobacco products over the last seven years

(Image by Pixabay user saurabsen)

NEW DELHI (Taiwan News) -- The number of Indian youth who smoke is decreasing day by day. This was revealed by the second Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS), released by the Union health ministry recently.

According to the data, there is a drop of six percentage points in young people using tobacco products over the last seven years. It further revealed that prevalence of tobacco use among people between 15 and 24 years of age has reduced from 18.4 percent in 2009-10 to 12.4 percent in 2016-17. 

Health minister J P Nadda said, "My focus has always been on the youth. My mantra for success in tobacco-control efforts is 'catch them young'. I am very pleased to note, therefore, that there has been a 54 percent relative reduction in the prevalence of tobacco use among minors (15-17 years) and 28 percent reduction in the age group of 18-24 years."  

Every fifth adult, which is 199 million, out of the more than 1.2 billion people, uses tobacco products such as the chewable gutka and khaini, other than cigarettes and bidis. And every 10th adult, or 100-million people smoke tobacco.

The GATS-1 survey -- a global standard for systematically monitoring adult tobacco use, smoking and smokeless, and tracking key control indicators was done in 2009-10. It is a household survey of people aged 15 years and above conducted in all 30 states of India and two union territories.

The National Health Policy 2017 has set a goal of reducing the prevalence of tobacco use by 15 percent by 2020 and 30 percent by 2025.