The recently released National Family Health Survey-5 (2019-2021) has revealed that 32.3% of women and 27.8% of men, aged 15-49, in Karnataka tried to stop smoking or using tobacco in any other form in the 12 months preceding the survey.
Among current users of tobacco in the State, who visited a doctor or other healthcare provider in the 12 months preceding the survey, 79.6% of women and 56.2% of men were advised to quit smoking or using tobacco in any form, the report pointed out.
Among those who were present, when someone (other than themselves) smoked in their home or anywhere else in 30 days preceding the survey, 44.1% were women and 37.6% were men.
Every year, May 31 is observed as ‘World No Tobacco Day’ and this year the theme is ‘Tobacco: Threat to our environment’.
Overall, 39% of men and 4% of women, aged 15-49, in the country use some form of tobacco. The most common form of tobacco consumption among men is chewing paan masala or gutkha (15%), followed by smoking cigarettes (13%), using khaini (12%), and smoking beedis (7%). Among men who smoke cigarettes or beedis, 46% smoke five or more cigarettes or beedis each day on an average.
Among women, the most common form of tobacco used is chewing paan masala or gutkha, chewing paan with tobacco, and using khaini, the report pointed out.
The use of any kind of tobacco decreased from 45% and 7% among men and women in 2015-2016 to 39% and 4% among men and women, respectively, in 2019-2021.
About three in 10 men and women, who are tobacco users in the country, said they tried to stop smoking or using tobacco in any form in the 12 months preceding the survey. More than two-fifths (61%) of female and over half (54%) of male tobacco users, who visited a doctor or other healthcare provider in the 12 months preceding the survey, were advised to stop smoking or using tobacco in any form.
Nearly half (48%) of women and over three-fifths (62%) of men were present when someone other than the respondent was smoking in their home or elsewhere in the 30 days preceding the survey.
Among men and women, the use of any form of tobacco is higher in rural areas than in urban areas. Among men, in urban areas cigarettes are more popular than any other form of tobacco. More than six in 10 men and about one-tenth of women with no schooling or less than five years of schooling use some form of tobacco in the country, according to the report.
Tobacco use shows a substantial decrease with increasing levels of education among both men and women. However, almost one-fourth (24%) of men with 12 or more years of schooling use tobacco.
There is an equally clear and continual decrease in tobacco use with increasing wealth quintiles. More than two in 10 (22%) men in the highest wealth quintile use tobacco, in comparison with 59% of men in the lowest wealth quintile. Over 9% of women in the lowest wealth quintile use tobacco, the report stated.
Call to amend COTPA
To expose rampant smoking in public places, thousands of cigarette and beedi butts were collected by NSS volunteers, citizens, and civil society organizations across Bengaluru. All the collected butts were displayed at NIMHANS on the occasion of ‘World No Tobacco Day’, urging all the MPs from Karnataka and the Union Health Ministry to get the principal tobacco control law COTPA (Cigarette and Other Tobacco Products Act) amended and make public places 100% smoke-free.
The three-week-long campaign led by the Consortium for Tobacco Free Karnataka and its coalition partners collected the butts from public places like bus stops, educational institutions, parks, government offices, hospitals, tea shops, and hotels in different parts of Bengaluru.