The overall tobacco consumption among adults in Karnataka has declined by nearly 5.4 percentage points in the last seven years, says the findings of the second round of the Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS 2) 2016–17.
The State’s fact sheet, released in the city on Thursday by Deputy Speaker of the Karnataka Legislative Assembly N.H. Shivashankara Reddy, has more heartening news – the mean age of tobacco initiation among teenagers has increased, indicating that they are now starting to use tobacco at a later age compared to earlier.
- Overall tobacco use has declined by nearly 5.4 percentage points
- It has decreased from 28.2% in 2010 to 22.8% in 2017
- Smoking has decreased from 11.9% in 2010 to 8.8% in 2017
- Mean age of tobacco initiation has increased from 17.7 years to 19.8 years
- Second-hand exposure of smoke at public places has decreased from 37.2% in 2010 to 23.9% in 2017
- Exposure from second-hand smoke at home has decreased from 44.3% in 2010 to 23.2% in 2017
- Exposure to second-hand smoke at workplace has decreased from 42% in 2010 to 24.8% in 2017
- A total of 1,311 males and 1,403 females were interviewed during September 2015 to October 2016 for the survey
The survey revealed that overall tobacco use prevalence has declined significantly among adults from 28.2% in 2009–10 (when GATS-1 was done) to 22.8% (GATS-2) in 2016–17. While smoking decreased from 11.9% to 8.8% during this time, smokeless tobacco use has also decreased equally from 19.4% to 16.3%.
Betel quid with tobacco, beedi and gutka are the three most commonly used tobacco products. About 9.4% of adults use betel quid with tobacco and 5.9% of adults each smoke bidi and use gutka.
The prevalence of tobacco use among persons aged 15 to 17 has decreased from 6.8% in GATS–1 to 3.7% in GATS–2. The mean age of initiation of tobacco use has increased from 17.7 in GATS–1 to 19.8 in GATS–2.
Another encouraging result from GATS–2 is that there has been a significant decline in exposure to second-hand smoke (SHS) from tobacco use in the State. While exposure of adults to SHS at any public place has decreased from 37.2% to 23.9%, exposure from second-hand smoke at home has come down (from 44.3% in 2009–10 to 23.2% in 2016–17) and exposure to SHS at workplace decreased from 42% of adults in 2009–10 to 24.8% in 2016–17.
The GATS is a global standard for systematically monitoring adult tobacco use (smoking and smokeless) and tracking key tobacco control indicators.
This is a household survey of persons aged 15 and above conducted in all 30 States of India and two Union Territories. The first round of the GATS was conducted in 2009–10.
From each of the sampled households, one household member aged 15 and above was randomly selected for individual interview. In all of India, a total of 74,037 individuals were interviewed during August 2016 to February 2017. In Karnataka, a total of 1,311 males and 1,403 females were interviewed during September–October 2016.
Motivated by pictorial warnings they quit
Large pictorial warnings on cigarette packs and information broadcast through various forms of the media have motivated nearly 75% of the smokers who attempted cessation.
The GATS 2 fact sheet reveals that the number of current tobacco users who want to quit (65.9% smokers and 48.2% chewers) is slightly higher than those who attempted quitting in 2009–10.
Half of the smokers (51.7%) and 63.9% chewers quit as they were advised to do so by healthcare providers. “Therefore, there is an urgent need to further support and expand cessation services which will help current tobacco users to quit tobacco use,” said Vishal Rao U.S., oncologist and member of the State Government’s high-powered committee on tobacco control.