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Indian J Chest Dis Allied Sci. 2006 Jan-Mar;48(1):37-42.

Tobacco smoking in India: prevalence, quit-rates and respiratory morbidity.

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Department of Pulmonary Medicine, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh-160012, India.



Population prevalence of tobacco smoking especially with reference to detailed habits such as the amount smoked, the smoking forms, quit-rates and relationship with demographic variables were studied at four different centres in India along with the study on epidemiology of asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.


The study population included adults of over 15 years of age selected with two-stage stratified random sample design. A specifically designed questionnaire was used for the study.


There were 11496 (15.6%) ever smokers in the study sample of 73605 subjects. Among 37682 males, 10756 (28.5%) were ever smokers and among 35923 females, 740 (2.1%) were ever smokers. Bidi was the commonest form of smoking, more so in the rural areas. The mean number of cigarettes/bidis smoked per day was 14 (+/- 11.5) and the mean age of starting smoking was 20.5 (+/- 20.0) years. Increasing age, low socio-economic status and rural residence were important factors associated with smoking. Vigorous anti-tobacco measures under the tobacco control programmes yielded only a quit-rate of 10 percent. Nearly 14% of ever smokers had some respiratory symptoms.


A substantial proportion of population in India has current or past smoking habit with higher prevalence among males than females. The quit-rates have been low in spite of the various anti-tobacco measures. There is a significant respiratory morbidity associated with smoking.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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