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Updated: May 31, 2014 00:36 IST

Rs.472 on cigarettes every week

Special Correspondent
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That is what the average Hyderabadi spends on the butt. Eighty-nine per cent respondents believed health insurance was a necessity for tobacco users, given the increasing costs of hospitalisation, and 63 per cent did have a mediclaim policy.

The average smoker in the city spends Rs. 472 on cigarettes every week, says a study on tobacco consumption habits by private general insurer ICICI Lombard.

The study, which was released here on Friday, also reveals that smokers had increased cigarette consumption in the last couple of years.

Apart from Hyderabad, the national survey covered Mumbai, Kolkata, Ahmedabad and Lucknow, and had a total sample size of 1,111 respondents who consumed at least one tobacco product a day. This included 200 respondents from the city.

About 54 per cent respondents felt the loss of appetite was the most common health issue that tobacco products caused; 94 per cent had colleagues consuming tobacco inside or outside office, 56 per cent mentioned that their friends/colleagues had begun ignoring them due to their tobacco consumption habits, and 64 per cent did not disclose such habits while buying a health insurance policy.

Eighty-nine per cent respondents believed health insurance was a necessity for tobacco users, given the increasing costs of hospitalisation, and 63 per cent did have a mediclaim policy.

“The survey helps us design relevant programmes towards promoting smoking cessation for individuals. Our aim is to promote wellness and preventive healthcare, thus enabling people to change their habits towards a healthier lifestyle,” said Amit Bhandari, vice president (health underwriting and claims), ICICI Lombard GIC Limited.

Only eight per cent owned a critical illness health insurance policy, the findings showed.

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