More than 28 per cent of adults,or one and half crore people,consume tobacco in Karnataka,according to a survey released today.
The Karnataka factsheet of the Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS),released by Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar,said 40 per cent of men and 16 per cent of women in the state are tobacco users.
“GATS is the first ever survey conducted on large-scale among the adult population of the state,” Director of Cancer Prevention Project-Institute of Public Health,Dr Vishal Rao,said.
“This estimate puts the total number of tobacco users in Karnataka to over one and half crore,an alarmingly high figure,clearly posing a huge risk to public health in the state,” he said.
In India,the GATS has been backed by the Union Ministry of Health and Family Affairs,with technical support from the World Health Organisation,Centre for Diseases Control and Prevention (CDC),the John Hopkins School of Public Health and RTI International.
GATS,a mechanism of monitoring tobacco use among adult population (above 15 years) across countries,suggested that more than 44 per cent of adults were exposed to passive smoking at home.
At least 33 per cent were prone to this at public places in the state,posing serious risk or ill health.
Among the recommendations of the survey was the creation of an inter-ministerial,high-powered committee headed by Chief Minister/Chief Secretary for tobacco control.
It was also noted during the event that to reduce tobacco use,Karnataka was implementing the Cigarette and Other Tobacco Products Act,2003,that prohibits smoking at public places,sale of tobacco to (and by) minors and mandates picture warnings on tobacco products.