Good news from India (and I’m hoping I have some readers from India who will be interested to read this.)
According to figures from the Global Adult Tobacco Survey, the rate of adult tobacco use in India has dropped from 34.6 percent to 28.6 percent from 2009-10 to 2016-17.
That’s roughly a 17 percent drop in seven years. That translates into 81 bakh fewer tobacco users in India in seven years (8.1 million).
That includes smokeless tobacco, bidis, cigarettes and other tobacco products.
Perhaps one big reason, according to the Financial Express, an Indian website, is the average cost of smokeless tobacco, bidis and cigarettes has gone up since 2009.
From the Financial Express:
The expenditure on cigarette has tripled and that on bidi and smokeless tobacco has doubled since GATS-1, the report pointed out.
Also, the Financial Express explains what the Global Adult Tobacco Survey is:
The GATS is a global standard for systematically monitoring adult tobacco use and tracking key tobacco control indicators. It was a household survey of persons aged 15 and above and was conducted in all states and two Union Territories. The first round of GATS was conducted in 2009-10. The second round of GATS was conducted in 2016-2017 by Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai. The survey was conducted under the stewardship of the Ministry of Health and technical assistance was provided by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
This is really important news because Big Tobacco is relying heavily on increasing its presence in developing nations such as India and Indonesia (the smoking rate in Indonesia is insane). Smoking is dying out in the West because of better education about the dangers of tobacco, so Big Tobacco is pouring more of its resources during the past several years into India, Southeast Asia, Africa and South America, places that tend to have low cigarette taxes and lax rules on tobacco marketing. They would go after China, too, but the Chinese have been pretty aggressive about maintaining state control of its tobacco industry.