Indians want strict tobacco control, demand removal of smoking zones: Report
82% of these adults believe that smokeless tobacco is a serious issue in the country, while 80% believe that smoking cigarettes is an issue of huge concern.
More than 80% Indians have demanded for a stronger tobacco control law and want smoking banned in all public places. The people who participated in the survey also demanded that special smoking zones in airports, hotels, and restaurants should also be removed.
The phone survey, which was conducted by a voluntary group Consumer VOICE, asked respondents, all of them adults, across 10 states and found overwhelming amounts of support for banning smoking. The survey which was conducted in more than 10 languages had 1,476 participants.
Out of these respondents 82% of these adults believe that smokeless tobacco is a serious issue in the country, while 80% believe that smoking cigarettes is an issue of huge concern. 77% respondents also said that smoking bidis is also a very serious problem. The respondents also said that advertisement of tobacco products at selling points should also be stopped.
The respondents also had very strong opinions regarding the exposure to second-hand smoke (passive smoking). Seven out of ten Indians feel that exposure to second-hand smoke makes them vulnerable to health risks. 72% respondents in the survey also flagged the issue of second-hand smoke and its ill-effects on respiratory health.
Another finding in the survey shows that several Indians would want further strengthening of the current tobacco control law. Out of every 10 Indians, 9 Indians want a stronger tobacco control law and 88% respondents strongly favoured bringing in more stringent controls.
“It is very encouraging to see the overwhelming support from people for strengthening the current tobacco control law. The Government of India has started the amendment process of tobacco control law COTPA 2003, which is an important step towards improving public health. It is looking to strengthen the provisions for prohibiting smoking in public places and a ban on point-of-sale advertising displays besides a ban on the sale of loose cigarettes and have higher penalties,” Consumer VOICE’s Chief Operating Officer (COO) Ashim Sanyal was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
More than 10 lakh people die every year due to tobacco usage in India. Several anti-tobacco campaigners have demanded increasing fines for violating anti-tobacco usage rules in a bid to save more lives.
(with inputs from ANI)