CHENNAI: Not many of us would be aware about this fact that India is the second largest producer and third largest consumer of tobacco in the world. According to Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS India Report 2009-2010) nearly 1 million people die in India every year due to tobacco use.
The National Survey on Drug Use and Health estimates that each day, over 4,000 people under the age of 18 years try their first cigarette. According to ICMR (Indian Council of Medical Research), in India, each year nearly 0.16 million people develop cancer, 4.5 million develop heart diseases and 3.9 million develop chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) as a result of consumption of tobacco.
A recent community based study done by some indian medical college students on prevalence of tobacco smoking say’s that reasons to smoke are mostly psychological. It further elaborates that three factors that primarily lead young people to pick up smoking habit are peer pressure, following the example of sibling and parents, and employment outside home.
In many cases, it was observed by the research team that, if a child’s older sibling and both parents smoke, the child is four times as likely to smoke as one with no smoking model in family.
The study revealed that peer influence is paramount during adolescent stages and young people with greater numbers of peers who smoke are more likely to begin to smoke themselves. There were some weird reasons too, one of which was that 68% of smokers thought that smoking causes weight loss. Isn’t it bizarre?
Similarly, around 32% of smokers expressed that since they were unable to cope with stress & unwelcome pressure on their mind, they just de-stressed themselves by lighting a cigarette.
What was astonishing is that 92% of current smokers are well aware of the fact that smoking cigarettes or using tobacco in any form causes cancer, and yet they indulge into this life threating hobby, why? Because they do not know a way to get out of this.