Over 6.25 lakh children smoke cigarette in India daily: Study

According to the study consumption of tobacco claims 17,887 lives in the country every week.

Published: 16th March 2018 08:54 PM  |   Last Updated: 16th March 2018 08:54 PM   |  A+A-

A man lights a cigarette in front of a kiosk in Kolkata. (Photo | Reuters)


NEW DELHI: More than 6.25 lakh children in India smoke cigarette every day, a sign of serious public health threat, a global study claimed.

According to the study -- Global Tobacco Atlas -- consumption of tobacco claims 17,887 lives in the country every week.

However, this is less than average number of deaths caused by smoking tobacco in medium Human Development Index (HDI) countries.

The report prepared by American Cancer Society (ACS) and US-based Vital Strategies claimed that the economic cost of smoking in India is Rs 18,18,691 million.

This includes direct cost related to healthcare and indirect cost involving lost productivity due to early mortality and morbidity.

Although fewer children smoke cigarette in India than on average in medium HDI nations, more than 4,29,500 boys and 1,95,500 girls in this country smoke cigarette each day, the report said and called for action from policymakers.

More than 9,03,42,900 men and 1,34,66,600 women smoke cigarettes every day, while 17,10,94,600 people use smokeless tobacco a sign of dire threat to public health, it said.

According to the report, which was released last week, 82.12 billion cigarettes were produced in India in 2016.

It said the combined revenue of the world's six largest tobacco companies in 2016 was more than USD 346 billion, which is equal to 15 per cent of the gross national income of India.

"The industry is a powerful force that does not fear actions of smaller nation-states because of their extensive resources and global market power.

Larger economies and nations have the opportunity to help the smaller allies face down this threat," the report stated.

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