AHMEDABAD: The number of women in the state getting hooked to smoking and chewing tobacco is on the rise. While announcing ‘Tobacco Free Gujarat’ campaign, state health minister Jay Narayan Vyas raised concerns about this disturbing trend. He said that while the number of men using tobacco products in the state has come down from 57% in 2005-06 to 46.2% in 2009-10, the figures for women have upped in the same period from 8.4% to 11.3%.
The figures are based on National Family Health Survey-3 2005-06 and The Global Youth Tobacoo Survey (GYTS-2006). However, Gujarat has fared better overall as nationally the number of women tobacco users has doubled from 10.8% to 20.3% in the same period.
“Though consumption of tobacco in Gujarat is less than the national average, it is alarming that over 29% boys and 4% girls attending schools consume tobacco in one form or the other,” Vyas said.
Giving an overview of the activities carried out under the government tobacco control programme, Vyas said that a pilot project is on in Sabarkantha and Vadodara districts since 2008, while another project ‘Smoke-free Ahmedabad and Gandhinagar’, has been initiated in 2009.
Vyas also launched a website (ctcph.com) as a part of the campaign. “This year, we have allotted Rs 3 crore under the programme to cover all the 26 districts and seven municipal corporations,” said Vyas.