Why do you think better bans are needed on smoking in India?

Published: June 12, 2019

The Global Adult Tobacco Survey for India which was released in 2016-17 stated that nearly 11% of Indians smoke regularly majority of whom are men. India ranked 18th from among 22 countries which were surveyed. Although there is a significant fall in the number of smokers, there is a dangerous level of second-hand smoke produced. Nearly 313 million Indians had been exposed to second-hand smoking in India at home which is the second biggest figure in the world after China. As per the GATS Report, 30% of Indians were exposed to second-hand smoke at work while 39% were exposed at home. The gap is even more pronounced in rural areas where it is 54% of people. North East India has the heaviest smokers in the country. These states are also most vulnerable to second-hand smoke. Second-hand smoke is very dangerous to health as it is linked to issues like cardiovascular problems, chronic respiratory problems, lung cancers, etc. Many nations in the world have elaborate clean indoor air laws at both the national and sub-national level. Uruguay, New Zealand, Ireland, Norway are the primary nations which have enacted smoking laws. India is a signatory to the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control which is a global treaty for a reduction in tobacco use and exposure in many forms. India should consider the promotion of smoke-free homes and general environment.

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