The Southern region factsheet of the Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS India) was released today in an official ceremony at the Hotel Select Manohar Fortune, Hyderabad. The factsheet offers the first ever comprehensive picture of tobacco use of adult population in the Southern region comprising of the states of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu, and Union Territory of Puducherry.
GATS India provides information on both, tobacco smoking and use of smokeless tobacco along with varied dimensions of tobacco use, including use of different tobacco products, frequency of use, age at the time of initiation and the like. Additionally the report throws light on the other aspects of tobacco use like, exposure to second-hand smoke; cessation; the economics of tobacco; exposure to media messages on tobacco use; and knowledge of health impact of tobacco use. GATS India conducted interviews with 11,098 of adults age 15 and above in the Southern region including 2,747 of adults in Andhra Pradesh.
The key findings related to the state of Andhra Pradesh are highlighted below.
Tobacco use, especially smoking is quite widespread in Southern region
- GATS India revealed that the use of tobacco, especially smokeless tobacco, in the Southern region is lower than the national average. Twenty-four percent of adults in Southern region use tobacco compared to 35% nationally.
- The prevalence of smoking in the Southern region is 13%. An equal proportion uses smokeless tobacco.
- Tobacco use in Andhra Pradesh is 29%. The tobacco prevalence in the state is lower than the national average of 35% but little higher than the regional average of 24%.
- About two in every five adult males and one in every five adult females in Andhra Pradesh use tobacco.
- The prevalence of smoking in Andhra Pradesh is 17 percent, higher than the national average. Twenty-nine percent of adult males and 6% of females in Andhra Pradesh smoke tobacco.
- The prevalence of smokeless tobacco in Andhra Pradesh is 15%, much lower than national average of 26%. Almost equal proportion of males and females use smokeless tobacco.
Cigarette, Gutkha and khaini are the most popular tobacco products in Andhra Pradesh.
- 7. Cigaratte, Gutkha or tobacco, lime and areca nut mixture and khaini are the most popular tobacco products in Andhra Pradesh.
- 8. Nineteen percent of adult males in Andhra Pradesh smoke cigarette and 14% smoke bidi. About 10% chew Gutkha and 8% chew khaini.
- 9. Among females, khaini and gutkha are equally popular tobacco products used by 5%-6% females.
- 10. On an average a daily cigarette smoker in Andhra Pradesh smokes 5 cigarettes per day, and a daily bidi smoker smokes 11 bidis per day.
Tobacco use often starts at young age
- GATS India shows among young adults age 20-34, daily tobacco use starts on an average at age 19.4 years. The mean age at initiation of smoking is only 19.7 years and use of smokeless tobacco starts on an average of age 19. Almost one-fifth of daily smokers age 20–34 start using tobacco daily before attaining the age of 18.
Fewer users of smokeless tobacco quit its use in comparison to smoker
- Tobacco users, especially users of smokeless tobacco, once they start using tobacco rarely quit it. Only one in 10 of daily smokers could quit smoking successfully, however in case of smokeless tobacco only 4% could stop its use.
Not all of smokers and smokeless tobacco users want to quit tobacco use
- 13. Little less than one-half of smokers and users of smokeless tobacco want to eventually quit respective tobacco use. In other words, about 50% of smokers and smokeless tobacco users have no plan to quit tobacco use.
Large proportion of non-smokers are exposed to second-hand smoke
- GATS India shows that about 8% of non-smokers are exposed to second-hand smoke (SHS) at home and 29% of non-smokers at work-place. In spite of laws prohibiting smoking in public places, 34% of those who visited any public place, like public transport, restaurants, government buildings or health care facility, were exposed to SHS.
Advertisement or promotion of tobacco products has been reported by large proportion of respondents
- The ban on advertisement of tobacco products at all public places except point of sale does not deter manufacturers of tobacco products from advertising. Among all adults, 28% noticed any advertisement or promotions of cigarettes, 37% noticed any advertisement or promotions of bidi and 37 percent noticed any advertisement or promotions of smokeless tobacco products.
Health warnings on packages of different tobacco products has an impact
- Not all tobacco users notice health warning on packages. However, GATS India reveals that those who noticed health warnings on packages, among them 30% of cigarette smokers, 28% of bidi smokers and 17% of smokeless tobacco users thought of quitting such products because of warnings labels on the respective packages of tobacco products.
Majority of smokers are not aware that smoking also causes stroke and heart attack
- 17. Though 72% of smokers are aware that smoking causes lung cancer, only 47% know that smoking can trigger heart attack and only 25% of smokers know that smoking can cause stroke.
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