Tobacco use in children (between 13 and 15 years of age) in India saw a decline of 42 per cent whereas more than 29 per cent of students are exposed to second hand smoke, according to National Fact Sheet Global Youth Tobacco Survey (GYTS-4), India.
The GYTS-4 pointed out that tobacco use among school going children was highest in Arunachal Pradesh and Mizoram and lowest in Himachal Pradesh and Karnataka.
Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare Mansukh Mandaviya released the National Fact Sheet Global Youth Tobacco Survey (GYTS-4), India, 2019 on Tuesday. The survey said that the use of any form of tobacco was seen higher among boys than girls.
During the release, Mandaviya emphasized 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. “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,” he said.
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 (MoHFW). 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.
- 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. Between the last two surveys, the current use declined by 42% (2009-2019).
- Prevalence of tobacco use among boys was 9.6 percent among girls was 7.4 per cent.
- The prevalence of smoking tobacco was 7.3 percent. In case of smokeless tobacco product, the prevalence was 4.1 per cent.
- Ever use of e-cigarette among the students was 2.8 per cent.
- Use of any form of tobacco was higher among boys than girls.
- The current use of tobacco among students across the States/ UTs ranged from the highest in Arunachal Pradesh and Mizoram (58 percent each) to the lowest in Himachal Pradesh (1.1 percent) and Karnataka (1.2 percent).
AGE OF INITIATION OF TOBACCO
- Thirty eight percent of cigarette, 47 percent of bidi smokers and 52 percent of smokeless tobacco users initiated the use before their tenth birthday.
- The median age at initiation of cigarette and bidismoking, and smokeless tobacco use were 11.5 years, 10.5 years and 9.9 years respectively.
- Two in ten current smokers tried to quit smoking in the past 12 months and another 2 in 10 students wanted to quit smoking now.
- 27 per cent of current users of smokeless tobacco tried to quit using in past 12 months and another 25 per cent wanted to quit now.
29.5 per cent of students exposed to second-hand smoke (11.2 per cent at home, 21.2 percent inside enclosed public places, 23.4 at outdoor public places).
ACCESS AND AVAILABILITY
- 69 percent of current cigarette smokers and 78 percent of current bidi smokers bought cigarettes/bidis from a store, paan shop, street vendor or vending machine.
- Among the current smokers who bought cigarette/bidi, 45 percent of cigarette smokers and 47 percent of bidi smokers were not refused because of their age.
MEDIA AND ANTI-TOBACCO MESSAGES
- 52 percent of students noticed anti-tobacco messages in the mass media.
- 18 percent of students noticed tobacco advertisements or promotions when visiting points of sale.
KNOWLEDGE AND ATTITUDES
- 71 percent of students thought other people’s cigarette smoking is harmful to them.
- 58 percent of students favoured ban on smoking inside enclosed public places.
- 85 percent of school heads were aware of COTPA, 2003.
- 83 percent of schools were aware of the policy to display ‘tobacco-free school’ board.