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Decline in tobacco usage among school children

Decline in tobacco usage among school children: survey

August 11, 2021
-Reshma Ravishanker

There is a 42 % decline in the use of tobacco among school-going children aged between 13-15 years over the past decade, the National fact sheet of the Global Youth Tobacco Survey (GTYS-4), India, 2019 has found.

The fact sheet was released by union minister for health and family welfare Mansukh Mandaviya on Tuesday.  

The fourth round of GYTS-4 was conducted by the International Institute for Population Sciences (IIPS) under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) in 2019. The survey estimates tobacco use among school going children aged 13-15 years at the state level and Union Territory (UT). The first three rounds of GYTS were conducted in 2003, 2006 and 2009.

As many as 97,302 students from 987schools (544 government schools and ; Private-443) participated in the survey. Of these data was collaborated with responses given by 80,772 students aged 13-15 years.

The survey was intended to gather information on the use of tobacco among school-going children, cessation, second-hand smoke, access to products, exposure to anti-tobacco information, awareness and receptivity to tobacco marketing, knowledge, and attitudes.

It was found that nearly 1/5th of the students surveyed used tobacco in any form (chewing, smoking). However, during the one month when the survey was underway, 8.5 % had used it. However, between the last two surveys that were conducted, a 42 % decline was reported (between 2009 and 19).

High prevalence in North East

Among the states and UTs, the highest use was reported in Arunachal Pradesh and Mizoram (58% each) to the lowest in Goa at 2.1% Himachal Pradesh at 1.1%, and Karnataka at 1.2%

The prevalence of tobacco use is very high among school students in the north-eastern states in India.

While Arunachal Pradesh and Mizoram topped the list at 57.9 %, Nagaland saw 42.6%, Meghalaya saw 33.6 % while Sikkim saw 24.8 % of students using any form of tobacco.

Other Highlights of the report   

  • 29.5% students were exposed to second-hand smoke
  • 11.2% were exposed at home, 21.2% at enclosed public places and 23.4 at outdoor public places.
  • Prevalence among boys was 9.6 %, that of girls was at 7.4 %.
  • 2.8 % students had used e-cigarettes  

Also read: Safeguarding teens against substance abuse

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