Odisha: Pictorial warnings bring down smoking by 3.3 per cent

The pictorial warnings on packages of tobacco products seem to have worked well as the number of tobacco smokers in the State has come down.

Published: 14th January 2018 04:45 AM  |   Last Updated: 14th January 2018 08:33 AM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

BHUBANESWAR: The pictorial warnings on packages of tobacco products seem to have worked well as the number of tobacco smokers in the State has come down. The prevalence of smoking has declined by 3.3 per cent in last eight years and only seven per cent adults, above 15 years, are now smoking tobacco.
According to the latest report of Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS-II), 13.9 per cent men and 0.1 pc women currently smoke tobacco while 52.1 pc men and 33.6 pc women use smokeless tobacco in Odisha. The average number of smokeless tobacco users is about 42.9 pc.

As many as 52.1 pc cigarette smokers, 28.8 pc bidi smokers and 34.6 pc smokeless tobacco users thought of quitting because of warning levels on packages.

The survey report indicates that there is no significant change in the prevalence of any tobacco use as 45.6 pc adults, including 57.6 pc male and 33.6 pc female still smoke tobacco or use smokeless tobacco. The average number of smokeless tobacco users was 46.2 pc in GATS-I.

The GATS is a household survey of persons aged 15 years and above in States and Union Territories.  The first round of the GATS was conducted in 2009-10. What has left the health officials worried is that the number of tobacco smokers is high in rural areas compared to their urban counterparts. At least 7.3 pc adults are smoking tobacco in rural parts of the State and  it is 5.9 pc in urban localities. However, the number cigarette smokers is higher in urban areas (4.5 pc) than rural parts (3.3 pc). Survey statistics revealed that khaini and tobacco for oral application are the two most commonly used tobacco products. The prevalence of tobacco use among persons aged 15 to 17 has decreased from 16.3 pc in GATS-I to 11.3 pc in GATS-II.

Though the number of khaini users has increased from 11 pc to 16.9 pc, there is no change in number of gutka users as 9.4 pc still consume it. Every tenth adult was exposed to second-hand smoke at any public place. However, the mean age at initiation of tobacco use has increased from 16.5 years to 17.4 years between 2010 and 2017. While one-fifth of smokers were advised by a health care provider to quit smoking, 19.7 pc  of smokeless tobacco users were advised to quit smokeless tobacco use.
The Odisha fact-sheet of GATS-II was released by Health and Family Welfare Secretary Dr Pramod Kumar Meherda here on Friday. A multi-stage sample design was used for the survey conducted during August 2016 to February 2017.

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