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India publishes health survey

09 May 2022. India’s National Family Health Survey 5 (NFHS-5) has recently found that 38 per cent of men and 9 per cent of women above the age of 15 use tobacco products in the country, reports The Indian Express.

The NFHS-5 survey was conducted in an approximate 637,000 sample households across 707 districts in 28 states and 8 Union Territories. Women (19 per cent) and men (51 per cent) belonging to Scheduled Tribes are more likely to use tobacco than those from any other caste/tribe groups. Among both men and women, the use of tobacco is higher in rural areas (43 per cent for men and 11 per cent for women) than in urban areas (29 per cent for men and 6 per cent for women). Almost three-fifths of men (58 per cent) and 15 per cent of women with no schooling or less than 5 years of schooling use tobacco.

Dr Pankaj Chaturvedi, Deputy Director, Centre for Cancer Epidemiology, Tata Memorial Centre said: “It is time to take bold steps and work on tobacco cultivation/processing/manufacturing/promotion in a systematic manner, especially as the revenue from tobacco is only 10 per cent of the loss from it. Tobacco not only affects those consuming it but also people around them. As a first step, let us amend the Cigarette and other Tobacco Products Act 2003 in a way that the Tobacco Industry becomes a less profitable industry.”