One in five professionals working in the corporate sector is a smoker, reported a survey of 500 men and women in six multinational companies in Delhi and Gurgaon.
The survey, done by Max Healthcare, also reported that though four in five smokers want to quit, 50% had never actually tried do so. The survey was done to track smoking behaviour among urban professionals aged between 19-46 years at GE Capital, Omaxe Ltd, IFFCO, Wipro, Spice BPO and I-Energizer.
"The survey found that smokers to be predominantly in the 19-35 age group, with little or no awareness about how to quit smoking. We also found there's not enough effort or direction from organisations to help employees consider the option of quitting," said Dr Sandeep Budhiraja, director, Max Institute of Internal Medicine.
One in three adults in India - 274.9 million - use tobacco. Of these 163.7 million used smokeless, 68.9 million smoke it, and 42.3 million use both, reported the Global Adult Tobacco Survey 2010.
On an average, someone who smokes a pack or more each day lives seven years less than someone who has never smoked, proves World Health Organisation data. Apart from cancers and lung diseases, smoking is the biggest trigger of heart attacks in healthy people with no risk factors like high blood pressure or high cholesterol.People under 40 years have five times greater risk of heart attack if they smoke. This risk, however, is halved within a year of quitting.
There are many who quit on their own, but then there are those who can't do it alone. These people should consider visiting a cessation clinic that usually offers a combination of counselling, nicotine-replacement therapy like nicotine patches or gums, and prescription drugs such as bupropion hydrochloride.
"Half-baked, misguided efforts to quit are ineffective and make people lose motivation to quit, which makes scientific intervention and psychological support crucial," said Dr Samir Parikh, chief, mental health and behavioural sciences, Max Healthcare.
"Every craving for a cigarette only lasts for about 3-5 minutes, and that if you can avoid smoking each time you get the urge, the craving will just fade away," said Parikh.