Women cigarette smokers on rise in India, smoking drops by 10%


The consumption of cigarette smoking in India is dropping steadily, but the number of women cigarette smokers is increasing. This makes the country take the position of second position after the United States that has the largest number of women smokers.

As per the latest data related to cigarette consumption that was revealed by the health ministry in the Parliament, cigarette consumption in 2014-15 fiscal was 93.2 billion sticks. This is 10 billion less than the cigarette consumption in the 2012-13 fiscal. Even the production of cigarettes dropped from 117 million to 105.3 million sticks during this tie period.

While this is good news, the sobering finding revealed by a global tobacco study showed that the number of women smokers in the country shot up from 5.3 million in the year 1980 to 12.7 million in the year 2012. The study analyzed the smoking prevalence as well as cigarette consumption in around 187 countries between 1980 and 2012. This was carried out by the Institute for Health and Evaluation, University of Washington, and the same was released in 2014.

The study shows that there is a jump in the overall number of smokers marginally from 3 percent to 3.2 percent. However, this marginal increase is a major concern for the anti-tobacco activists. They point out that it is against the global trend of the rate of drop among women smokers that is faster than in men.

In many countries, cigarettes comprise of more than 90 percent of the tobacco consumption, but in India it is only about 11 percent. While the decline shows a positive development, the impact of the diseases that are caused by the tobacco consumption is limited as it is dominated by tobacco chewing and bidis.

In the U.S. that had one third of its population as smokers in 1980, the research on diseases caused by tobacco and the sustained campaigns have managed to cut down the prevalence by 17 percent of

the adult population.



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