VIJAYAWADA: About 10.1 per cent of people who use various forms of tobacco products in Andhra Pradesh are women, observed the Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS)-2016-17.Of the 10.1 per cent, 4.6 per cent of women smoke cigarettes and beedis, 6.5 per cent use smokeless tobacco like khaini and others. While cigarettes are the most preferred form of tobacco among women in the State, beedi and khaini followed next.
According to the GATS, conducted by Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) and Ministry of Health and Family Welfare with the support of the World Health Organisation (WHO), 1.1 per cent of women in AP use both smoking and smokeless forms of tobacco.The survey findings indicate that Andhra Pradesh stands first in South India in number of smokers as 14.2 per cent of the adults smoke. The national average is 10.7 per cent.
For the survey, a person who is 15 years and older was considered as an adult.“About 20 per cent of all adults in Andhra Pradesh use tobacco in various form. While 14.2 per cent people smoke, 7.1 per cent use smokeless tobacco. About 1.4 per cent use both,” the findings of the Global Adult Tobacco Survey, which was released on Tuesday, said.The survey had a sample size of 1,966. Among men, the preferred form of tobacco is cigarettes, followed by beedis and khaini.
The survey also said that the number of people who don’t use tobacco in AP stands at 80 per cent. This, the state officials and researchers said, is much lesser than the findings of the 2009-10 survey.
The 2009-10 survey (in united AP) had put the overall usage of tobacco products by men and women at 29.2 per cent.
“About 80 per cent of adults in the State don’t use tobacco in any form. Of the 20 per cent who use tobacco products, 14.2 per cent smoke tobacco in various forms and 7.1 per cent use smokeless tobacco. About 1.4 percent people use both forms. The awareness campaigns have helped in bringing the tobacco usage down,” explained Dr Nilesh Gawde, assistant professor from Tata Institute of Social Sciences, which conducted the survey.
Those living in rural parts of the state smoke more than their urban counterparts.
The findings of the survey also noted that 89.5 per cent of adults in the State noticed that the anti-tobacco campaign helped in reducing the usage of tobacco.“Tobacco usage has also come down in the age groups 15-24 years and 24-44 years age bracket. It has increased in age groups of 44-64 years and 65+ years,” Nilesh added.
State nodal officer of National Tobacco Control Programme Dr Geetha Prasadini said that awareness on the ill effects of using tobacco coupled with regulation of the product is the only way to bring down the overall usage of tobacco.“There definitely has been a change, but I observed that we could have done a lot more. We were able to bring down public smoking. Focus should be laid on curbing smoking at work places. Coordination between various enforcements departments like police, food safety and others is important to ensure a drastic drop in the usage of tobacco,” Geetha Prasadini said here on Tuesday.
Furthermore, a daily smoker in the State on an average spends `1,217.3 per month on cigarettes and `158.2 on beedis.