ICMR survey finds 7% adolescents have experimented with tobacco | India News

ICMR survey finds 7% adolescents have experimented with tobacco | India News

BENGALURU: Seven per cent of adolescents between 15 years and 17 years in India experimented with smoking or smokeless tobacco, according to a study by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and National Centre for Disease Informatics & Research (NCDIR), Bengaluru.
The study report, published in the June 2021 issue of the British Medical Journal, highlights the risk factors for non-communicable diseases among adolescents. One in every 10 adolescents in India experimented with smoke or smokeless forms of tobacco, the study says, adding that adolescents from urban areas had a higher proportion of risk factors than those from rural areas.
The research, conducted in 2017-18, had 1,531 adolescents across the country. Of them, 3.1% reported current use of any form of tobacco, higher in rural areas (3.6%) and among boys (5.5 %). The study highlighted that one-fifth of adolescents reported noticing teachers or school staff smoking on the premises.
Researchers say the evidence on non-communicable disease (NCD) risk factors and school-based health promotion activities are crucial. The study also focused on dietary behaviour of youngsters. Nearly 48.3% reported skipping breakfast once a month and 4% skipped breakfast on all 30 days. On an average, they skipped breakfast 10 days a month, slightly more in rural areas.
Dr Prashant Mathur, director, NCDIR and lead investigator, said the study fills national-level data gaps for this vulnerable age group, helps assess India’s progress towards NCD targets for 2025 and gives an impetus to focus on this age group. “India needs to strengthen existing policies, plan more effective risk-reduction strategies and health promotion programmes specific to adolescents.” he said.

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