Smoking proves costly for Kerala adults

Smokers find their earnings go up in smokes, while the red button fire that lights the far end of their tobacco tube also burns a big hole in their home budget.

A survey by Ministry of Health and Family Welfare during 2009-10 found that smokers in the state spent Rs 484 in a year on their daily fix of tobacco. During the per-capita income in Kerala was Rs 5,377.The survey has interviewed 1,825 men and women in various parts of the State.

It found that 58.6 per cent smokers light their first fag of the day within half-an-hour of waking up. About 10.7 per cent of adults were found to be users of smokeless tobacco, out of which 8.5 per cent were women.

Smoking early

In the State, smokers start the habit at an average age of 18.3 years.

The study found that 21.4 per cent of adults were users of tobacco in any form, while 41.8 per cent of adults were exposed to second-hand smoke at home, 18.7 per cent were exposed to the risk in public places and 17.5 per cent at workplaces.The survey found that 70.6 per cent smokers and 53.8 per cent users of smokeless tobacco planned to quit the habit.

The 95 per cent of adults believed smoking causes serious illness while 92.6 per cent believed that exposure to tobacco causes illness in non-smokers.Chief Minister Oommen Chandy released the report by handing over a copy to Health Minister P V Sivakumar on Friday.

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