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Students exposed to second-hand smoke: GYTS-4 survey


More than 29% of students in India were exposed to second-hand smoke, said the Global Youth Tobacco Survey (GYTS-4), India, 2019 which was recently released by the Health Minister.


GS-II: Social Justice (Issues Related to Health, Issues Related to Children, Government Policies and Interventions)

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. About Global Youth Tobacco Survey (GYTS-4)
  2. Highlights of Global Youth Tobacco Survey (GYTS-4)
  3. Steps taken by India to reduce tobacco usage

About Global Youth Tobacco Survey (GYTS-4)

  • The Global Youth Tobacco Survey (GYTS-4) was conducted in 2019 by the International Institute for Population Sciences (IIPS) under the MoHFW.
  • The survey was designed to produce national estimates of tobacco use among school going children aged 13-15 years at the state level and Union Territory (UT) by sex, location of school (rural-urban), and management of school (public-private).
  • The survey’s objective is to provide information on tobacco use, cessation, second-hand smoke, access and availability, exposure to anti-tobacco information, awareness and receptivity to tobacco marketing, knowledge, and attitudes.

Highlights of Global Youth Tobacco Survey (GYTS-4)

  • There has been a 42% decline in tobacco use among 13-15 year-old school going children in the last decade.
  • Nearly one-fifth of the students aged 13-15 used any form of the tobacco product (smoking, smokeless, and any other form) in their life.
  • Use of any form of tobacco was higher among boys. Prevalence of tobacco use among boys was 9.6% and among girls was 7.4%.
  • Tobacco use among school going children was highest in Arunachal Pradesh and Mizoram and lowest in Himachal Pradesh and Karnataka.
  • 38% of cigarettes, 47% of bidi smokers and 52% of smokeless tobacco users initiated the use before their tenth birthday.
  • The median age of initiation to cigarette and bidi-smoking, and smokeless tobacco use were 11.5 years, 10.5 years and 9.9 years respectively.
  • 52% of students noticed anti-tobacco messages in the mass media and 18% of students noticed tobacco advertisements or promotions when visiting points of sale.
  • 85% of school heads were aware of the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act (COTPA), 2003 and 83% of schools were aware of the policy to display ‘tobacco-free school’ boards.

Steps taken by India to reduce tobacco usage

  1. Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act, (COTPA) 2003: replaced the Cigarettes Act of 1975 (largely limited to statutory warnings- ‘Cigarette Smoking is Injurious to Health’ to be displayed on cigarette packs and advertisements. It did not include non-cigarettes). The 2003 Act also included cigars, bidis, cheroots, pipe tobacco, hookah, chewing tobacco, pan masala, and gutka.
  2. Adoption of WHO FCTC: which is the first international treaty negotiated under the auspices of the WHO. It was developed in response to the globalization of the tobacco epidemic and is an evidence-based treaty that reaffirms the right of all people to the highest standard of health.
  3. National Tobacco Quitline Services (NTQLS): with the potential to reach a large number of tobacco users with the sole objective to provide telephone-based information, advice, support, and referrals for tobacco cessation.
  4. Promulgation of the Prohibition of Electronic Cigarettes Ordinance, 2019: which prohibits Production, Manufacture, Import, Export, Transport, Sale, Distribution, Storage and Advertisement of e-Cigarettes.

-Source: The Hindu

December 2023