Exposure to second-hand smoke remains a major concern in India even though there has been a reduction in such exposure at home and public places since 2009-10, as per the Global Adult Tobacco Survey 2 (GATS 2), released here by the Health Ministry. However, exposure to second-hand smoke at healthcare facilities has increased in this period. The survey showed that little more than one-third (35 per cent) of the non-smokers were exposed to second hand smoke (SHS) at home in India. In urban areas 25 per cent of non-smokers and in rural areas 40.4 per cent of non-smokers were exposed to SHS at home, respectively.
Among all adults, 5.3 per cent were exposed to second hand smoke in government buildings, 3.6 per cent at private work places, 5.6 per cent in healthcare facilities, 7.4 per cent in restaurants, 13.3 per cent in public transport, 2.1 per cent in bar/night club and 2.2 per cent in cinema halls. In all 25.7 per cent of adults were exposed to second hand smoke in any of these seven public places.
Nationally, 37.7 per cent pregnant women were exposed to SHS at home during the one month preceding the survey while 21.0 per cent pregnant women were exposed to SHS at their workplace and 25.9 per cent were exposed to SHS at any of the seven in public places. “The proportion of households in which smoking is allowed has decreased significantly from 60.4 per cent in GATS 1 (2009-10) to 48.8 per cent in GATS 2 (2016-17).
The proportion of non-smokers exposed to SHS at home has decreased significantly from 48 per cent in GATS 1 to 35 per cent in GATS 2,” the report stated. Among all adults, exposure to SHS at government buildings/offices has decreased significantly from 6.6 per cent in GATS 1 to 5.3 per cent in GATS 2 while at restaurants it has decreased from 11.3 per cent to 7.4 per cent.
In public transports, exposure to SHS has decreased significantly from 17.5 per cent in GATS 1 to 13.3 per cent in GATS 2. However, exposure to SHS at healthcare facilities has increased from 5.4 per cent in GATS 1 to 5.6 per cent in GATS 2. The survey showed that 28.6 per cent of people, aged 15 and above, currently use tobacco in some form in India even though the prevalence of tobacco use has declined significantly over the last seven years.
It also showed that every third adult (32.5 per cent) from rural areas and every fifth adult (21.2 per cent) from urban area reported current use of tobacco with the prevalence among men being 42.4 per cent and among women it was 14.2 per cent.
From GATS 1 in 2009-10 to GATS 2 in 2016-17, the prevalence of any form of tobacco use has decreased significantly by six percentage points from 34.6 per cent to 28.6 per cent. The prevalence of daily tobacco use has decreased by 4.2 percentage points (relative decrease of 14.4 per cent) and the prevalence of occasional tobacco use has decreased by 1.7 percentage points (relative decrease of 31.5 per cent).
The decrease in both is statistically significant. ? There is a significant increase of one year in the mean age at initiation of tobacco use from 17.9 years in GATS 1 to 18.9 years in GATS 2, the report highlighted. According to the report, khaini, a tobacco, lime mixture, is the most commonly used with every ninth adult (11.2 per cent) in India using it followed by bidi, which is smoked by 7.7 per cent of adult Indians.
In urban areas, khaini (6.8 pc ) and gutka (6.3 pc ) are the two most commonly used tobacco products, whereas in rural areas khaini (13.5 pc) and bidi (9.3 pc ) are the most prevalent tobacco products. GATS 2 was carried out in 30 states of India and in the two union territories of Chandigarh and Puducherry from August 2016 to February 2017.
The analysis is based on 74,037 completed interviews, among which 33,772 were with men and 40,265 with women. Of these, 47,549 interviews were conducted in rural areas and 26,488 in urban areas.