TOBACCO EPIDEMIC IN INDIA (Syllabus: GS Paper 2 – Health)

News-CRUX-10     31st May 2024        
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Context: Amidst the tobacco epidemic in India, concerns rise over its dual impact on consumers and cultivators, emphasizing the urgency for updated data to combat the industry's influence and address public health challenges effectively.

Tobacco

  • About: It is derived from the leaves of the genus Nicotiana, a plant from the nightshade family indigenous to North and South America.
  • Global Production:  China, India, and Brazil.
  • Major Tobacco-Producing States in India: Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, West Bengal, Telangana, and Bihar are among the major tobacco-producing states in India.

The status of tobacco use in India

  • The Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS), Global Youth Tobacco Survey (GYTS), and India’s National Family Health Survey (NFHS) serve as crucial surveillance mechanisms for tobacco use in India.
  • Targeted Demographics: GYTS focuses on students aged 13 to 15, while GATS and NFHS target individuals above 15 years old, providing comprehensive data on different age groups.
  • Positive Trends: Overall, the surveys indicate a decline in tobacco use among the studied population segments, reflecting positive progress in tobacco control efforts.
  • Gender Discrepancy: Despite the overall decline, there's a notable increase of 2.1% in tobacco use among women between 2015-2016 and NFHS 2019-2021, presenting a concerning trend.


Efforts By the Government 

  • Director General’s Special Recognition Awards: Annually, the WHO acknowledges individuals or groups within its regions for their achievements in the field of tobacco control.
  • National Health Policy 2017: The goal is to cut down tobacco usage by 30 percent by 2025, with this aim aligning with the targets for Non-Communicable Disease (NCD) control.
  • National Tobacco Control Programme (NTCP): To increase understanding about the negative impacts of tobacco use and regulations related to tobacco control.

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