Tobacco use behaviour among minors in India
Amrita Gupta 1  
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Tata Institute of Social Sciences, India
Publication date: 2018-03-01
Tob. Induc. Dis. 2018;16(Suppl 1):A425
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Tobacco use is one of the major preventable causes of morbidity and morbidity worldwide. India is the third largest producer and consumer of tobacco in the world. Tobacco use among minors in India is a matter of serious concern as early age of tobacco use among the young population might lead to a number of health problems. The study brings out the prevalence of tobacco use behaviour among minors (15-18 years) in India.

The study is based on Global Adult Tobacco Survey India (GATS-India) 2009-10 data. The study includes population between 15-18 years of age. Suitable bi-variate and multivariate techniques have been used.

The tobacco use is high among minors in India. An alarming 11% of the minors are current tobacco users in India and among 15% males and 7% females. Among the current tobacco users 8% minors are daily tobacco users and among them 11% are males and 5% are females. The prevalence of smokeless tobacco (10.5%) is higher among the minors as compared to smoking (2%). The prevalence of smokeless tobacco use is double among males (14%) and compares to females (7%). The most commonly used tobacco produt among males was gutkha (tobacco, lime and areca nut mixture), followed by kahini (tobacco lime mixture), betel quid with tobacco, cigarette and bidi. Among female oral use of tobacco was highest followed by gutkha, khaini, betel quid with tobacco, cigarette and bidi. Interestingly awareness about of the ill effects of tobacco was almost universal among minors.

 Tobacco usersSmokersSmokeless tobacco users
Status of useTotalMaleFemaleTotalMaleFemaleTotalMaleFemale
Current users11.315.
Daily user7.910.
Occasional user3.
[Tobacco use status among minors in India (2009-10)]

The high prevalence of tobacco use among minors is a matter of grave policy concern requiring immediate attention from government, policy makers and NGO's. Tobacco use at an early age might make the minors susceptible to a number of health ailments. Proper counselling and treatment are required to de-addict the minors from tobacco use.