Nearly 50 per cent of all adults in Assam are tobacco users, according to a survey.
Around 48.2 per cent of all adults in Assam, of whom 62.9 per cent are men and 32.9 per cent women, either consume smoke tobacco or use smokeless tobacco, the Global Adult Tobacco Survey 2 (GATS2) said.
The survey found that 13.3 per cent of all adults in Assam currently smoke tobacco and 41.7 per cent of the adults use smokeless tobacco.
Noting that 'khaini' (chewing tobacco with lime) and betel quid with tobacco are the most commonly used tobacco products, it said 23.1 per cent of the adults use khaini and 19.0 per cent use betel quid with tobacco.
The mean age at initiation of tobacco use has increased from 18.1 years in GATS1 to 18.5 years in GATS2.
Consumer Legal Protection Forum, (CLPF) Assam, an NGO that has initiated several tobacco related intervention programmes in the state, today said the state has shown a significant rise in tobacco consumption from 39.3 per cent during the last survey in 2009-10 to 48.2 per cent now.
The prevalence of smokeless tobacco use has increased significantly by 9 percentage points, secretary of the CLPF Ajay Hazarika said.
The ascent in tobacco consumption in Assam is an indicator that government needs to strengthen tobacco control efforts and people need more awareness on the health and financial burden that tobacco use brings with it, Hazarika said.
"The rise in number of tobacco users especially smokeless is a cause of worry because it is easily accessible to children and youth. We are working in the state through our programmes to protect the public, especially youth and children from exposure to tobacco use," said Ashim Sanyal, Chief Operating Officer of Consumer VOICE, a NGO.
According to the GATS2 survey, tobacco use is the leading single preventable cause of deaths worldwide. Each year an estimated seven million deaths are attributed to the use of tobacco
It said India is the third largest tobacco producing nation and second largest consumer of tobacco world-wide.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)