‘Rate of quitting smoking low in India’
PRESS TRUST OF INDIA
New Delhi, Apr 8: Though Indians start smoking late in life, quitting the habit is very rare in the country with only two per cent of adults managing to become ex-smokers as compared to 40 per cent in the United States and Europe.
According to a latest study, the figure also varies state-wise with Kerala reporting the highest number of quitters at seven per cent and Delhi reporting the least, which is below one per cent.
The study was carried out by the National Institute of Public Finance and Policy and Centre for Global Health Research.
Life expectancy reduces by one year for every 10 per cent increase in smoking. The study said smoking prevalence at ages 20-24 years in urban males rose from 13 per cent in 1999 to 25 per cent in 2006. Most of the increase was in cigarettes, the study says.
“This in effect means that overall life expectancy of urban males will drop by over one year, unless smokers quit,” Prabhat Jha, one of the writers of the report said.
India has an estimated 12 crore smokers.
The report further shows that in India, since 1999 to 2006, the number of smokers in the age-group of 20-24 years increased from 13 per cent to 25 per cent.
For men and women with an average age of 30, the male bidi smokers lost six years of their lives, female bidi smokers lost eight years of their lives and male cigarette smokers lose 10 years of their life.
According to the document, higher taxes are the single most effective intervention to get smokers to quit. For example, a 10 per cent higher price means, quitting the habit by 2-4 per cent of the current smokers.
Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee’s 17 per cent excise tax on cigarettes in this year’s budget has raised the street price by around six per cent. This will translate in to some two lakh of the current smokers to quitting, Jha said.
Of these one lakh lives saved would be middle aged, Jha said.
The study recommends that an even bigger tax hikes on cigarettes and especially on bidis could save some two crore lives over the next few decades.
Lastupdate on : Thu, 8 Apr 2010 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Thu, 8 Apr 2010 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Fri, 9 Apr 2010 00:00:00 IST
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