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Global Youth Tobacco Survey-4

  • 11 Aug 2021
  • 5 min read

Why in News

Recently, the fourth round of Global Youth Tobacco Survey (GYTS-4) was released by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW).

Key Points

  • About:
    • GYTS-4 was conducted in 2019 by the International Institute for Population Sciences (IIPS) under the MoHFW.
      • IIPS, Mumbai, formerly known as the Demographic Training and Research Centre (DTRC) till 1970, was established in July 1956 under the joint sponsorship of Sir Dorabji Tata Trust, the Government of India and the United Nations.
      • It serves as a regional centre for Training and Research in Population Studies for the the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) region.
    • 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 first three rounds of GYTS were conducted in 2003, 2006 and 2009.
    • A total of 97,302 students from 987 schools participated in the survey.
  • Objective of the Survey:
    • 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.
  • Major Findings:
    • Decline in Tobacco Use:
      • 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.
    • Gender Based Usage:
      • 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%.
    • State Wise Data:
      • Tobacco use among school going children was highest in Arunachal Pradesh and Mizoram and lowest in Himachal Pradesh and Karnataka.
    • Initiation Age:
      • 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.
    • Awareness:
      • 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.
  • Measures towards Tobacco Control in India:
    • Adoption of WHO FCTC:
    • COTPA, 2003:
      • It 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.
    • Promulgation of the Prohibition of Electronic Cigarettes Ordinance, 2019:
      • Which prohibits Production, Manufacture, Import, Export, Transport, Sale, Distribution, Storage and Advertisement of e-Cigarettes.
    • National Tobacco Quitline Services (NTQLS):
      • Tobacco Quitline Services have 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.
    • mCessation Programme:
      • It is an initiative using mobile technology for tobacco cessation.
      • India launched mCessation using text messages in 2016 as part of the government’s Digital India initiative.
  • Global Initiatives:
    • World No Tobacco Day- 31st May.
    • WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control: Governments adopt and implement the tobacco control provisions of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC).

Way Forward

  • The role of teachers is most crucial in creating awareness among children and their parents about harm due to tobacco use and for shaping the attitude of children in this regard.
  • The more and the sooner awareness is created among children about harms due to tobacco use, the better will be the outcomes in terms of reduction in prevalence of tobacco use among children and consequently among adults.
  • Harmful effects of tobacco use should be incorporated in school curricula at various levels starting right from the primary school level.

Source: TH

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