Bengaluru: It’s finally happening. Health warnings appear to be at last working as fewer adults are smoking now as compared to seven years ago in the state and the number of teenagers using tobacco too has fallen in the same period.
The Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS) reveals that the percentage of adults using tobacco in the state has fallen from 28.2 per cent of the population in 2009-10 to 22.8 per cent in 2016-17 and the number of adults smoking has fallen from 11.9 per cent to 8.8 per cent in the same period.
Even better, the percentage of 15 to 17- year- olds using tobacco has fallen from 6.8 per cent to 3.7 per cent in the years in question and the mean age at which young adults begin to use tobacco has increased from 17.7 years to 19.8 years, which means they are starting later than before.
One major finding of the survey is that there is significant decline in passive smoking, which has come down from 37.2 per cent to 23.9 per cent in this period mainly due to ban on smoking in public places.
Not only has smokeless tobacco use decreased by 3.1 per cent, from 19.4 per cent in 2009-10 to 2016-17, but the number of current tobacco users , who want to quit the habit has gone up, going by the report.
Betel quid with tobacco, bidi and gutka are the three most commonly used tobacco products, the report says.
Besides, knowledge about the harmful effects of both smokeless and smoked tobacco has increased in the state, both through effective pack warnings and information broadcast through media, it adds.
The report was released on Thursday by Legislature Petition Committee chairman, Shivashankar Reddy.