The first thing Ananya Patil, 24, (name changed) does after waking up at 7am every day is light a cigarette while having tea. “I began smoking in the mornings after moving out of home,” said the aspiring filmmaker, who lives in Mira Road and smokes up to nine cigarettes a day.
According to doctors, the urge to light a cigarette soon after waking up is a sign of heavy nicotine addiction.
On Friday, Tata Memorial Hospital (TMH) released the Maharashtra data of the Global Adult Tobacco Survey (2009-2010), which revealed that 64.6% of the 4,667 daily tobacco users surveyed consumed tobacco within half hour of waking up.
“Such smokers are not social users,” said Dr Pankaj Chaturvedi, assistant professor, TMH.
Tobacco consumption is considered a preventable health hazard that accounts for about 60% of non-communicable diseases such as cancer, heart ailments and strokes.
Smoking on an empty stomach along with tea or coffee can cause nausea or acidity.
“While consuming tobacco increases the heart beat, many believe it calms them. Many also believe it helps bowel movement. That is a myth,” said Dr Aashish Contractor, head of preventive cardiology, Asian Heart Institute.
36% adults exposed to smoke at home
Paulomi Saha, 19, hates it when her father, Jayanta Saha, 55, lights a cigarette in their Goregaon flat. “We inhale so much smoke because of him. Once I threw an entire packet of cigarettes out of the window, which led to a major fight. He is allowed to smoke only on the balcony,” said the college student.
Saha is one among many adults, who inhale second-hand smoke at home. According to the Global Adult Tobacco Survey (2009-2010), 36.6% of adults in Maharashtra are exposed to second-hand smoke at home.
The Maharashtra data of the study conducted by the International Institute of Population Studies (IIPS), Deonar, and the Central government, was released on Friday by the Tata Memorial Hospital (TMH).
The survey also revealed that 30.2% of adults were exposed to second-hand smoke in public places.
“Children are the worst affected when they are exposed to second-hand smoke. They tend to develop asthma and are even at the risk of developing cancer if exposed for a longer duration,” said Dr PC Gupta, Director, Healis Sekhsaria Institute of Public Health.
The survey concluded that 31.4% adults in the state are tobacco consumers of which 42.5% men and 18.9% women consumed tobacco. The average age of initiation in males was 17.9 years, whereas in women it was about 21 years, stated the survey.
“The Maharashtra government is well aware of the situation and has initiated strong steps to curb the menace of smoking. We have notified all the provisions of Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act (COTPA) 2003 and are committed to take strict action against all violators of the act. With the proposed gutkha ban we are looking forward to a tobacco-free Maharashtra,” stated chief minister Prithviraj Chavan, who could not make it to the event but sent a written address.The survey stated that more than 80% of adults believed that tobacco consumption causes serious illness. About 50% of the adults thought of quitting smoking after looking at the warning label on the tobacco packets.