Vijayawada: The Global Youth Tobacco Survey-4 has found tobacco smoking is rare among the students in Andhra Pradesh, compared to the scene in other states. In AP, only 1.8 per cent of the students do so against 7.3 per cent at the national level, it said.
The International Institute for Population Sciences under the Union ministry of health and family welfare conducted the GYTS-4 in 2019 as part of a national survey covering 3,290 students from 33 schools (public-19 and private-15). Of them, 2,959 students were aged 13-15.
The survey found that 2.6 per cent of students currently used some tobacco product while 1.8 per cent of them smoked tobacco. Nearly 1.1 per cent of students smoked cigarette while 0.8 per cent smoked bidi and 1.1 per cent took to smokeless tobacco.
About 37 per cent of the students tried to quit smoking in the last 12 months while 30 per cent of the current smokers wanted to quit smoking. Some 23 per cent users of smokeless tobacco tried to kick the habit, and 37 per cent of users of smokeless tobacco too wanted to stop it.
With regard to secondhand smoke, 7.2 per cent students were exposed to tobacco smoke at home while 22.5 per cent were exposed inside enclosed public places. About 71 per cent of current cigarette smokers and 80 per cent of current bidi smokers bought these from a store, a paan shop, a street vendor or from a vending machine. On the role of media, 50 per cent of the students read anti-tobacco messages in mass media while 9.1 pre cent noticed tobacco advertisements at the points of sale.
Nearly 73 per cent of the students thought that other people’s cigarette smoking, or passive smoking, was harmful to them while 50 per cent of them favoured a ban on smoking inside enclosed public places.
On school policy, 49 per cent of school heads was aware of the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act, 2003 while 36 per cent of them were aware of the policy to display ‘tobacco-free school’ board.
AP health and family welfare commissioner K Bhaskar released the GYTS-4 report here on Wednesday. He called for efforts to take up more awareness campaigns on COTP Act, 2003 among the students and others to help safeguard their health.