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Tobacco catching UP too young: Survey

Despite much-hyped anti-tobacco drives in UP, there has been a 7% rise in tobacco consumption during 2 years.

lucknow Updated: Aug 22, 2012 16:14 IST
Anupam Srivastava

There seems terribly wrong with the anti-tobacco campaign in the state as despite much hyped drives, 56% Uttar Pradesh males above 15 consume tobacco.

The latest union ministry of health department survey says there has been a flat 7% rise in tobacco use among men in Uttar Pradesh within two years (2010 to 2012).

Recently, the state government had raised taxes on tobacco-based products to make things like cigarettes and bidis out of the smokers’ reach.

Last survey by Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS) in 2010 revealed that 49% of state men consume tobacco in one form or the other but in just two years if the number rises upto 56% then something is terribly going wrong with the anti-tobacco campaign or people are not paying any heed to their health.

In Uttar Pradesh, 34 % men chew tobacco in different forms like plain tobacco, khaini, gutkha, pan masala while 22 % use cigarettes, hookah, chilam and bidis .

The health survey also confirmed that 13% of UP population is a smoker with most of them located in Sitapur district where every third man is a smoker.

While in chewing tobacco, Banda is the leader where around 67 % men consume tobacco.

Last year, the district administration promised strict action against the shops selling tobacco near schools, religious places but still there has been no action on the ground.

Professor Rakesh Kapoor, head of urology department Sanjay Gandhi Post Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences (SGPGIMS) says, “One can see youths smoking in the open, even small vendors sell tobacco products near schools and other public places. This survey indicates that most productive population of the state is in the grip of tobacco addiction hence this major portion of population is not able to give its best output when it comes to increasing productivity. This could be one of the reasons that UP is still among the underdeveloped states in the country.”

“Tobacco consumption is the cause of cancer in 40% cases. There must be some strict rules to discourage consumption of tobacco.