Tobacco abuse still high among North-East states

According to a report of the Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS), the top five tobacco consuming states in India are Mizoram (67%), Nagaland (57%), Tripura (55%), Meghalaya (55%) and Manipur (54%).

On the other end of the spectrum, Goa is the lowest consumer of tobacco products in the country. The national average rate of tobacco consumption is 35 per cent.

Global Adult Tobacco Survey was conducted across the country in 2009-10 by the International Institute for Population Science under the auspices of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

The survey also reported that 90 per cent mouth/oral cancer cases, 80 per cent of lung cancer cases, 60 per cent of lung infections and 60 per cent of heart attack case are caused by consumption of tobacco products.

Highlights from the GATS India survey include:

  • Almost 275 million adults currently use some form of tobacco (34.6 percent);
  • 32.9 percent of males and 18.4 percent of females use smokeless tobacco;
  • More than 85 percent of women who use tobacco use smokeless tobacco exclusively;
  • Five in ten current smokers (46.6 percent) and users of smokeless tobacco (45.2 percent) planned to quit or thought about quitting;
  • 90.2 percent of adults believe smoking causes serious illness; and
  • 29.9 percent of adults are exposed to tobacco smoke in the workplace.

The Government of India launched the National Tobacco Control Programme in 2007-08 and the same is implemented in 21 States and Union Territories.

The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has conducted a comprehensive study into the abnormal cancer growth in NE state during 2003-04, which revealed that Mizoram recorded the world’s second highest cancer cases.

In another survey, The Cancer Registry Programme of Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) shows occurrence of oesophagus, lung, mouth, nasopharynx and stomach cancer are relatively higher in Northeastern states as compared to other parts of the country.


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