Alcohol and tobacco use

Habits die hard

Print edition : April 13, 2018
The fourth National Family Health Survey reveals alcohol and tobacco consumption among a significant proportion of the adult population.

DATA from the fourth National Family Health Survey on tobacco and alcohol usage among men and women aged 15-49 show that 45 per cent of men and 7 per cent of women use some form of tobacco while 29 per cent of men and 1 per cent of women consume alcohol.

While the use of any kind of tobacco has actually fallen from 57 per cent among men and 11 per cent among women in 2005-06, the numbers are still worrisome.

Among both men and women, the use of any form of tobacco was higher in rural areas than in urban areas, with the percentage being 8.1 for women and 48 for men.

People belonging to the Scheduled Tribes show the highest percentage of users among all caste/tribe groups, with the proportion being 57 per cent for men and 17 per cent for women.

Among both men and women, those aged 35-49 were the top sub-group among tobacco users, with the percentage being 11.8 per cent for women and 56.6 per cent for men.

Within the chief religious groups, Christians topped among women with 9.9 per cent and Muslims among men with 45.6 per cent.

Data on alcohol consumption show that among men, the occurrence was close to 30 per cent in both rural and urban areas, while among women the rural percentage (1.5) was more than twice the urban percentage (0.7)

Men aged 35-49 topped the subgroup with 36.8 per cent. Among men belonging to the chief religious groups, Christians topped with 42.8 per cent while Muslims were at the bottom with 11.3 per cent. Castewise data show that the Scheduled Tribes had the highest occurrence (41.3 per cent).

Statistics from the survey also show that 29.2 per cent of men and 1.2 per cent of women in the 15-49 age group were consumers of alcohol nationwide. Among men, Himachal Pradesh topped the northern region with 39.7 per cent, while Chhattisgarh ranked number one in the central States with 52.7 per cent. Jharkhand and Odisha had the highest percentage (39.3) in the east, while Goa topped the west with 44.7 per cent. Telangana with 53.8 per cent had the highest consumption percentage in the south.