Women in their reproductive age group are exposed to smoke more at home than at work place. The revelation was made by health experts after analysing the current report of Global Adult Tobacco Survey-India (GATS 2009).
The study has been published in the journal of family medicine and primary care. It is conducted by Deepika Agrawal from the department of community medicine, School of Medical Sciences and Research, Greater Noida (Uttar Pradesh) ; Arun Kumar Aggarwal and Sonu Goel from Department of Community Medicine, Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER).
The study assessed the prevalence of current active smoking, second-hand smoke (SHS) exposure and the factors that influence smoke exposure in females of the reproductive age group.
For the study, data from the nationally representative GATS 2009 was analysed. The age group of women in the study were from 15 to 38 years.
For analysis, the age groups were classified into three, 15-26 years, 27-38 years and 39-49 years. The groups were also classified according to education three, less than primary, primary to senior secondary and graduate and above. Similarly, occupation was regrouped into, employed, students and un-employed.
Exposure to SHS was assessed separately in three place, which include home, workplace and elsewhere (restaurants, government building, public transport and health facility)
“It was found that 50.4% of the women in the reproductive age group had been exposed to SHS at home, though only 2.6% of the women were current active smokers,” mentions the study.
This was more than the SHS exposure at work which was 21.7% and elsewhere which was 32.6%.
“SHS exposure of women at home didn’t vary significantly with the knowledge of adverse effects of smoking but was affected by the place of dwelling as the smoke exposure was found to be more among rural women,” mentions the study.
The study concluded, “From the analysis of the GATS India, 2009-10, it can be concluded that second hand smoke exposure is more prevalent than current active smoking in women of the reproductive age group.”
It further mentions, “The SHS exposure is highest at home, in rural areas, in women who have less than senior secondary level of education and in students who visit other places like public building, health facility and restaurants, and used public transport. Thus, policies need to be framed accordingly, to curb this vicious menace which as women don’t really have an alternative way to deal with this.”