More people in Delhi are trying to quit smoking: WHO survey

The smoke signals in the city are conveying a positive message. A World Health Organization study reveals that the number of smokers in Delhi who made an attempt to give up tobacco consumption in 2016-17 saw a 33.3 per cent jump compared to the previous year. This when the overall India figures registered a 0.1 per cent dip.

These are among the findings of the Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS-2) fact sheet in which Delhi has performed creditably in “tobacco cessation services”.

Also, the number of users of smokeless tobacco in the city who made an attempt to quit in 2016-17 recorded a 39.7 per cent rise, compared to a 2.2 per cent slide in the India average.

Tobacco kills nearly 60 lakh people around the world each year, of which 9-10 lakh die in India alone.

Dr SK Arora, additional director of health, state tobacco control cell, told Mail Today, “Delhi government has been celebrating No Tobacco Day on the last day of every month over the past five years with innovative intensive awareness and enforcement activities. It has not only prioritised the tobacco control activities but also is responsible for significantly better impact in reducing tobacco consumption and increasing quit attempts in Delhi as compared to the rest of India.”

Tobacco use is an important risk factor for the development of coronary heart disease, stroke and peripheral vascular disease. And still, a large section of the population doesn’t know that tobacco consumption is one of the leading causes of cardiovascular diseases, experts say.

Dr. Arora added that the government’s strategy to protect minors and women from tobacco, e-cigarettes, hookah and misleading advertisements in the name of pan masalas, etc, has paid off. It has given us better results as compared to rest of India average.

The Delhi government released the data of GATS 2 for the city on the occasion of World No Tobacco Day on May 31, along with officials from WHO South-East Asia Region (SEARO) and New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC).

The report has stated that the gutkha users have also significantly reduced by 5.2 per cent in Delhi as compared to 1.4 per cent for the India average.

Regarding passive smoking, the adults exposed to tobacco smoke at workplace have reduced by 4 per cent as compared to the India average, which actually increased by 0.3 per cent. Similarly, the adults exposed to tobacco smoke at home have also reduced significantly by 23.3 per cent as compared to a 13.6 per cent reduction for the India average.

“We are strongly enforcing Delhi Prohibition of Smoking and Non Smokers Health Protection Act 1996 and Cigarette and other Tobacco Products Act (COTPA) 2003 etc,” Arora said. “The department has launched 1 for 1 Campaign to adopt one tobacco or pan masala user to assist tobacco and pan masala users to quit these habits because we still lack adequate assistance for tobacco cessation.”

Dr. Ajay Sharma, senior consultant dental surgeon at Max Healthcare said that tobacco reduces the body’s ability to fight infections, including in the mouth and gums. Smoking also limits the growth of blood vessels, slowing the healing of gum tissue after oral surgery or from injury, he said.


  • Adult tobacco users have reduced.
  • Among men, most commonly used tobacco products are khaini, bidi, gutkha.
  • Among women: Betel quid tobacco, tobacco for oral application, khaini.


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