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32 Per Cent Men, 1% Women Consume Tobacco In Jammu and Kashmir: Data

A recent survey conducted by the National Family Health Survey (NFHS-5) reveals significant gender disparities in tobacco consumption in Jammu and Kashmir. The data indicates that approximately 32 percent of men and just 1 percent of women in the region use tobacco products, with cigarettes being the most common form.

For men, 27 percent use cigarettes, 4 percent smoke bidis, and 2 percent each smoke hookah and cigars or pipes. In contrast, only 1 percent of women aged 15-49 use any form of tobacco, highlighting a stark difference in tobacco use between genders.

Tobacco use is notably higher in rural areas compared to urban settings. In rural areas, 1.4 percent of women and 35 percent of men use tobacco, while in urban areas, the figures drop to 0.7 percent for women and 24 percent for men. The data also shows that 21.1 percent of men in urban areas smoke cigarettes, compared to 28.7 percent in rural areas.

The consumption patterns among smokers reveal that 27 percent use 5 or fewer cigarettes per day, 34.7 percent smoke 5-9 cigarettes, 29.9 percent use 10-14 cigarettes, 6 percent smoke 15-24 cigarettes, and a small fraction, 0.3 percent, smoke 25 or more cigarettes in 24 hours.

A separate survey by the Department of Community Medicine at Government Medical College (GMC) Srinagar found a concerning trend among school-going adolescents. Approximately 23 percent of adolescents in Srinagar are smokers, with 29 percent of boys being ever smokers and 23 percent being current smokers.

Exposure to tobacco smoke is prevalent among adolescents, with over 60 percent encountering it in public places. Factors contributing to adolescent smoking include parental and peer smoking, exposure to smoking in movies, lack of anti-smoking messages, and insufficient discussion about smoking dangers in schools.

Despite 94.6 percent of adolescents acknowledging the health risks of smoking, only 18.6 percent discussed these dangers with family or friends. The survey also revealed that 85.1 percent of current adolescent smokers had parents who smoked, and nearly all had smoker friends.

The survey underscores the urgent need to address tobacco use among adolescents and increase awareness of its dangers. The high prevalence of smoking and widespread exposure to environmental tobacco smoke highlight the necessity for robust anti-smoking campaigns and stricter regulations to protect young people from tobacco’s harmful effects.

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