56% Rise In Teen Girls Smoking In Last 25 Years: Study

Girls smoking

Smoking declined by 7% in women in the last 25 years.  But before celebrating, here is another piece of information — it has increased among teenage girls by 56% since the 90s, revealed a study by The Lancet. The study was published online this week.

Between 1990 and 2015, young girls aged 15 to 19 years have started smoking, found the study which has accumulated data from 195 countries.

The study also claimed that globally, smoking has reduced by 29.4 per cent in the past 25 years to 15.3 per cent in 2015. It reported that one in four men, that is 25% men, smokes in the world and one in 20 women smokes, meaning women smokers constitute 5.4%.

The reason behind the increase in percentage of smokers is population growth, which has gone up from 870.4 million in 1990 to 933.1 million in 2015, says a study.

Coming to India and the scenario of smoking here, a large percentage of 11.2% of the entire world’s smokers are from India. The Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act (COTPA) is being implemented and the creation of a National Tobacco Control Programme (NTCP) in 2007 covers 40 states currently and works in phases to curb the usage of tobacco in the country.

The two other countries that have implemented tobacco control policies and seen a decline in smoking among its citizens are Pakistan and Panama.

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However, it is crucial to note that the percentage of smokers in the study by The Lancet has been determined by the number of daily smokers, leaving behind the occasional smokers and former smokers, pointed out Dr Srinath Reddy, president of Public Health Foundation of India to Indian Express. He also added that the study does not include the number of smokes a person has in a day and the consumers of non-tobacco smokers who use e-cigarettes.

He blamed tobacco advertisement for attracting young girls and boys into the trap of smoking.

“Oral tobacco use is widespread in the country and majority of the tobacco is outside the tax net or enjoys tax subsidy. For instance, Khaini/Kharra/Mawa is the most commonly used form of smokeless tobacco….While there has been some progress in enforcing the law, the gutka ban and other anti-tobacco laws need to effectively implemented,” said Dr Pankaj Chaturvedi, surgeon at the Tata Memorial Hospital, Mumbai.

The effect of smoking is so severe that more than one in 10 deaths globally happen because of smoking and half of these deaths occur majorly in four countries — China, India, USA, and Russia. 2015 saw 11.5 per cent of global deaths (6·4 million) due to excessive smoking. Of the 11.2 per cent, 52.2% deaths occurred in China, India, USA and Russia.

Picture credit: Lifestyle Elf

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