Tobacco Use Soars In JK: NHFS-5 Data Exposes Alarming Rates


SRINAGAR: Around 32 percent of men and one percent of women consume tobacco in Jammu and Kashmir, with cigarettes being the main tobacco product, NHFS-5 data revealed.

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Official data shows that only 1 percent of women in the age 15-49 group use some form of tobacco.

“Tobacco products mostly used by men are cigarettes (27%), bidis (4%), hookah, and cigars or pipes (2% each). Among women and men, the use of any form of tobacco is slightly higher in rural areas (1.4% for women and 35% for men) than in urban areas (0.7% for women and 24% for men),” the data adds. “Over one-third (35%) of men who smoke cigarettes smoked 5 to 9 cigarettes in the past 24 hours.”

The data states that around 0.2 percent of women in urban areas and 0.5 percent in rural areas use cigarettes, while 21.1 percent of men in urban areas and 28.7 percent in rural areas smoke cigarettes.

“0.1 percent of women and 4 percent of men in J&K are smoking bidis. Additionally, 0.1 percent of women and 2.2 percent of men are smoking cigars or pipes in J&K, while 0.7 percent of women and 2.4 percent of men are hookah smokers,” it reads.

“Around 27 percent of cigarette smokers use 5 or fewer cigarettes per day. 34.7 percent use 5-9 cigarettes, 29.9 percent use 10-14 cigarettes in 24 hours, 6 percent use 15-24 cigarettes, while 0.3 percent use 25 or more cigarettes in 24 hours.

Meanwhile, a survey conducted by the Department of Community Medicine, Government Medical College Srinagar, revealed that around 23 percent of school-going adolescents are smokers in Srinagar.

According to the survey, the prevalence of cigarette smoking among adolescent boys was found to be 29% ever smokers and 23% current smokers.

“In addition, more than half (60.8%) of adolescents were exposed to tobacco smoke from others in public places. In the multivariate analysis, parent smoking, peer smoking, exposure to movies with actors smoking, not being exposed to anti-smoking media messages, not discussing in the class about the danger of smoking were significantly associated with current cigarette smoking among adolescents,” the survey reads. “The prevalence rate is increasing in its spread, exposure to environmental tobacco exposure is widespread. Moreover, adolescents should be enriched with knowledge on the dangers of tobacco use.”

The survey said that among the surveyed schools, 29% of adolescents were those who smoked at least one puff. An estimated 23% of the adolescents were current smokers, it added.

“Among the respondents, 181 (15.1%) of them usually smoked 2-5 cigarettes on the days they smoked, and the majority (14.8%) of them buy their cigarettes often from shops. Moreover, 16.1% of the respondents who are smoking currently spend more than 1000 rupees on cigarettes in the last month preceding the survey,” the survey reads.

“Overall, 235 (19.6%) of adolescents think that boys who smoke cigarettes have more friends. Likewise, 376 (31.4%) of adolescents think that boys who smoke are more attractive.

Almost all of the surveyed adolescents (94.6%) showed they definitely think that cigarette smoking is harmful to health. Only 18.6% of the surveyed school adolescents indicated that they discussed the harmful effects of smoking with a family member or with friends. The majority of adolescents (82.8%) indicated that once someone starts smoking, it is difficult to quit. Parents of adolescents were smokers in 85.1% of current smokers. Similarly, almost all of the adolescents smoking currently have smoker closest friends.”

The official said that the majority of adolescents (84.6%) think that smoke from others is harmful to them. Moreover, almost all the adolescents (95.7%) indicated that smoking should be banned in public places.

“Among those currently smoking, 172/276 (62.3%) of adolescents want to stop smoking cigarettes at the time of the survey. However, only 56/276 (20.2%) of them tried to stop smoking cigarettes during the past year.”

“Moreover, among half of the currently smoking adolescents, they indicated that they would be able to stop smoking if they wanted to do, and only half of them received help or advice that encouraged them to quit smoking. Around 40% of the adolescents had quit smoking cigarettes in the last year, and they mentioned reasons for quitting.” (KNO)


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