The report of the first ‘Global Adult Tobacco Survey—India 2010’, released on 19 October, places India second on the list of global tobacco consumers. China, predictably, leads the pack. An alarming 34.6% of India’s population consumes some form of tobacco. Tobacco use starts at an average age of 17.8, but is prevalent in nearly 10% of children in the15-17 age group. As the populations of both countries age, the economic costs of this addiction are going to start piling up. This is not a growth path either India or China should be on.
Photo: Hindustan Times