May 31 is observed as the World No Tobacco Day against the economic, social, and individual damage caused by this product.
India has over a million deaths caused due to this inhalation, chewing of Tobacco, and exposure to second-hand smoking. India is also the second-largest tobacco consuming country in the world with over 27 crore users.
Let us look at some of the statistics that have emerged from this habit
Also Read: World No-Tobacco Day: Tips to quit smoking
Ø It is the fourth leading cause of deaths caused due to non-communicable diseases.
Ø 34.6% of adults are smokers.
Ø Youth in the age group of 13-15, 14.6% currently use some form of tobacco
Ø India is home to about 108 million male smokers as of 2015.
Ø At least 11 of the 13 states have reported a decline in the numbers between 2005-06 and 2015-16. A government survey has noted that tobacco consumption has fallen from 50% in 2005-06 to 47% in 2015.
Another survey has found that with the income levels increasing across the nation, cigarettes are replacing bidis amongst younger men and those who are illiterate.
Amongst the more affluent classes of people, cigars have replaced cigarettes.
But how exactly has the government responded to this issue and what steps are they taking to reduce tobacco consumption?
1. The government has enacted stringent laws such as the Cigarettes and other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce, Production, Supply and Distribution Act, 2003.
2. Smoking has been banned in all public places except those areas which are specifically designated as ‘Smoking zones’, warnings in films and other documentaries against smoking whenever a smoking scene is depicted.
3. Pictorial warnings will have toc over at least 75 % and more space in the Tobacco packets. ‘
4. The Government of India has banned certain kinds of smokeless tobacco products like gutka and chewing tobacco through the notification issued under the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006. Other tobacco products are regulated by the Cigarettes and other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce, Production, Supply and Distribution) Act, 2003 (COTPA 2003).
5. One specific legislation that has been strictly implemented is the rule that no one will sell tobacco and tobacco products 100 yards from any educational institute.
Tobacco consumption may be a thrilling experience but it only leads to a deterioration of quality of life. The respiratory system gets affected and leads to very many issues including cancer.
It may be an escape from factors that cause stress in life, albeit only temporarily. Hence, it is advised by the experts to cut out smoking from one’s life.