Arunachal Pradesh and Mizoram on Global Youth Tobacco Survey (GTYS)
According to the Global Youth Tobacco Survey’s (GTYS) 2019 report, school-going students in the states of Mizoram and Arunachal Pradesh are the highest consumers of tobacco by 57.0 per cent.
Featured in the list are also the other states of the Northeast, such as Nagaland (42.6 percent), Meghalaya (33.6 per cent), and Sikkim (24.8 per cent).
According to the survey released by the ministry of health and family welfare, 58 per cent of the students (79 percent of boys and 38 percent of girls) use tobacco in various forms in Arunachal, while 54 per cent of the students (76 per cent of boys and 32 percent of girls) prefer to smoke.
Students’ access to smoking and vulnerability at a young age
When it comes to access to such products, 31 per cent of the students got access to tobacco smoking at home and 68 per cent were exposed to tobacco smoking inside enclosed public places.
According to the GTYS, general places for smoking are – at home (8.4 per cent), at school (11.3 per cent) at friends’ houses (11.9 percent), at social events (8.9 per cent), in public places (5.2 per cent), and others (54.3 per cent).
Also, when it comes to access to such products 94 per cent and 88 per cent of cigarette smokers and bidi smokers respectively purchased from stores, pan shops, street vendors, or vending machines.
Also Read: Assam Police busts Inter-state drug gang in Goalpara; 50,000 Yaba Tablets, Rs 19 Lakh cash recovered
Lack of awareness regarding tobacco consumption
Furthermore, 36 per cent of school head persons were not aware of the Cigarettes and other Tobacco Products Act (COTPA), 2003, and the required policy to display ‘tobacco-free school’ boards.
From those who were surveyed, 70 per cent of the students said that they came across anti-tobacco messages in mass media. On the other hand 19 percent of students saw tobacco advertisements or promotions through other means.
However, 68 per cent of the students are in support of the ban on smoking inside enclosed public places, while 47 per cent were aware that other people’s cigarette smoking is detrimental to them.