Home/ News / India/  29.5% students exposed to second hand smoke, shows govt survey

NEW DELHI : At least 29.5% of the students are exposed to second-hand smoke with a maximum 23.4% at outdoor public places followed by inside enclosed public places (21.2%) and at home (11.2%), revealed the National Fact Sheet Global Youth Tobacco Survey (GYTS-4), India, 2019, released by union health ministry on Tuesday.

The survey also found over 42% decline in tobacco use among 13-15 years school going children in last decade. The survey further showed that Tobacco use among school going children (13-15 years) – highest in Arunachal Pradesh and Mizoram and lowest in Himachal Pradesh and Karnataka. The use of any form of tobacco higher among boys than girls, the survey showed.

The fourth round of Global Youth Tobacco Survey (GYTS-4) was conducted in 2019 by the International Institute for Population Sciences (IIPS) under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. The survey was designed to produce national estimates of tobacco use among school going children aged 13-15 years at the state level and Union Territory (UT) by sex, location of school (rural-urban), and management of school (public-private). The first three rounds of GYTS were conducted in 2003, 2006 and 2009.

A total of 97,302 students from 987schools (Public-544; Private-443) participated in the survey. Of which, 80,772 students aged 13-15 years were considered for reporting.The objective of the survey was to provide information on tobacco use, cessation, second-hand smoke, access and availability, exposure to anti-tobacco information, awareness and receptivity to tobacco marketing, knowledge, and attitudes.

“The more and the sooner, we create awareness among children about harms due to tobacco use, the better will be the outcomes in terms of reduction in prevalence of tobacco use among children and consequently among adults," said Mansukh Mandaviya, Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare emphasising the role of teachers as most crucial in creating awareness among children and their parents about harm due to tobacco use and for shaping the attitude of children in this regard. 'Harmful effects of tobacco use' should be incorporated in school curricula at various levels starting right from the primary school level, he added.

The survey report showed that nearly one-fifth of the students aged 13-15 used any form of the tobacco product (smoking, smokeless, and any other form) in their life. However, the current use (during last 30 days) was 8.5%. Between the last two surveys, the current use declined by 42% (2009-2019). Prevalence of tobacco use among boys was 9.6% and among girls was 7.4%. The prevalence of smoking tobacco was 7.3%. In case of smokeless tobacco product, the prevalence was 4.1%. Ever use of e-cigarette among the students was 2.8%," the survey report showed.

The findings further showed that 38% of cigarette, 47% of bidi smokers and 52% of smokeless tobacco users initiated the use before their 10th birthday. The median age at initiation of cigarette and bidi smoking, and smokeless tobacco use were 11.5 years, 10.5 years and 9.9 years respectively.

Over 69% of current cigarette smokers and 78% of current bidi smokers bought cigarettes/bidis from a store, paan shop, street vendor or vending machine, the survey findings revealed. Among the current smokers who bought cigarette/bidi, 45% of cigarette smokers and 47% of bidi smokers were not refused because of their age, it said.

As far as knowledge and attitude regarding tobacco usage is concerned, 71% of students thought other people’s cigarette smoking is harmful to them according to the survey. Also, 58% of students favoured ban on smoking inside enclosed public places.

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Updated: 10 Aug 2021, 08:55 PM IST
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