Close to 4 out of 10 men in Chandigarh are consuming liquor, which is the second highest in the north India, after Himachal Pradesh, according to the National Family Health Survey (NFHS) - 4.
Himachal Pradesh, which is also known as ‘Dev Bhumi’, has recorded a little higher percentage (39.7%) than Chandigarh, which has 39.3% people consuming alcohol. For Chandigarh, the NFHS survey has been conducted for the first time.
However, there is substantial rise from the figures of NFHS-3 (2005-06) for HP when only 29.5% of people were recorded as taking liquor. The results for HP and J&K have been released recently.
“In NFHS-4 survey the quantity is not being asked. So, it includes both occasional drinkers and regular ones. In HP, there is an easy availability. At a lot of places it is locally made and there’s little restriction on brewing. In Chandigarh, there is a liquor vend in every sector. The living standard in the city is also high which contribute to higher number of people consuming alcohol,” said Prof Aswini Kumar Nanda, Population Research Centre, Centre for Research in Rural and Industrial Development (CRRID) Chandigarh.
The National Family Health Survey (NFHS) is a multi-round survey conducted in a representative sample of households throughout India. The Union ministry of health and family welfare has designated International Institute for Population Sciences (IIPS) to conduct this survey.
Decline in Punjab, Haryana, Delhi figures
In Punjab, 34 % people reported in NFHS-4 survey that they take liquor, while in NFHS-3 there were 43.4%. Haryana reported 24.5% people, while last time the corresponding figure was 27.7%. Delhi has recorded 24.7%, down from 33.1% in NFHS-3.
Similar is the case for Uttarakhand and J&K. In Uttarakhand, there is decline from 39.1% to 35.2% in NFHS-4.
Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) has reported least number of people consuming liquor at 10.5% in north India while last time, there were 12.5 %.
Women in Chandigarh have reported highest figure in alcohol consumption though it is marginal at 0.5%, followed by HP and Uttarakhand at 0.3%.
Figures of tobacco use
Chandigarh has 22.5 % men who consume tobacco. Uttarakhand has reported the highest use of tobacco among men at 43.7%, though there is decline from last time.
It is followed by HP where it is 40.5 %, up by 0.5% from the last time.
J&K has 38.2% of men smoking or chewing tobacco, though it has substantially decreased from the last time when it was 52.7%. Haryana too has reported decrease at 35.8%, while in NFHS-3 it was 46.3%.
Among women, Uttarakhand has 2.9% taking tobacco, which is highest in north India, followed by J&K at 2.8% and Haryana at 1.6%. Chandigarh has 0.4 % women in this category.