Male smokers in India increased since 1998


New Delhi: An Indian-origin researcher recently said in his study that the number of male smokers in India rose to 108 million between 1998 and 2015.

However, there was no considerable increase in young female smokers.

It is quite alarming that men of ages 15-69 years smoking any type of tobacco rose from 79 million in 1998 to 108 million in 2015, representing an average annual increase of about 1.7 million male smokers.

According to the study published in BMJ Global Health, the percent of smokers declined from 27 in 1998 to 24 in 2010 but the total number rose due to the population growth.

Sadly, about one million deaths were caused in 2010 due to smoking equivalent 10 per cent of all deaths in India, out of which 70 percent of deaths occurred between the ages of 30 and 69.

China is the only country in the world with more smokers than India.

The study covered smoking trends in India, using three nationally representative surveys covering 14 million residents between 1998-2010, which made forward projections to 2015.

The study also found that cigarettes were replaced by the traditional bidi, a small, inexpensive Indian cigarette, possibly due to substantially higher income in India and population growth.

In urban India, the number rose about 68 percent from 19 to 31 million while in rural India it was 26 percent from 61 to 77 million.

At the ages 15-69 years, there were about 11 million women who smoked – about one-tenth of the total of male smokers.

The smoking prevalence in women born after 1960 was about half of the prevalence in women born before 1950, suggesting that there is no increase in young women smoking.(IANS)