BENGALURU: At least 20 lakh people in Karnataka have overcome their tobacco addiction -cigarettes, beedis and chewing tobacco -in the past 10 years, a study has revealed. Conducted by the government’s high-powered committee on tobacco control, the study is based on the National Family Health Survey report (2015-2016) released recently. The state has seen an 11% drop in tobacco consumption (from 49.5% in 20052006 to 38.5% in 2015-16).
The Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS), a World Health Organisation (WHO) initiative, shows that India has over eight million fewer tobacco consumers today than seven years ago despite the population growth. Data released by the Centre last week shows tobacco use among adults has reduced by 17 per cent since 2010.
Dr Vishal Rao U S, consultant oncologist (head and neck surgeon) and member of the high-powered committee, said: “The figures clearly show that not only are less people consuming tobacco, but also that many have not been initiated into the habit, especially the young. This is a positive trend and reflects the state and the country’s commitment to the WHO Framework Convention of Tobacco Control (FCTC).”
City doctors say it is the youth who must be the focal point in reduction of tobacco consumption. “Factors like the increasing literacy rate, extensive awareness campaigns and stricter implementation of laws have contributed to the results. That the educated in Bengaluru are abstaining from smoking is a big achievement,” said Dr Sachin Kumar, senior consultant, department of pulmonology, Sakra World Hospital.
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