Nearly 35 per cent or 27.5 crore adults in India consume tobacco in some form or the other and the prevalence among males is 48 per cent, while in females it is 20 per cent, Lok Sabha was told on Friday.
New rules had been notified for making it mandatory to carry pictorial health warnings occupying at least 85 per cent of the principal display area of the tobacco package, which includes 25 per cent of textual health warning, Union Health Minister J P Nadda said.
"As per Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS-India 2010), about 35 per cent of the adults in India consume tobacco in some form or the other. The estimated number of tobacco users in India is 27.5 crore, with 16.37 crore users of smokeless tobacco, 6.9 crore only smokers and 4.23 crore users of both smoking and smokeless tobacco," Nadda said.
He said the prevalence of overall tobacco use among males is 48 per cent and that among females is 20 per cent while among both males and females, the prevalence of tobacco use is higher in rural than urban areas.
"More than half of rural males (52 per cent) and 24 per cent of rural females use tobacco compared with 38 per cent of urban males and 12 per cent of urban females," he said.
Nadda said as per the report of Tobacco Control in India (2004), nearly 8-9 lakh people die every year due to diseases attributable to tobacco use.
A nationally representative study on smoking and death in India (published in 2008) found that smoking causes a large and growing number of premature deaths in the country. The study estimated that in 2010, the annual number of deaths from smoking in India would be around 10 lakhs, he added.
Nadda said that published scientific literature suggests that exposure to promotional activities for tobacco leads to initiation and progression of tobacco use among youth and young adults in the country.
"Research corroborates that exposure to tobacco advertisements and receptivity to tobacco marketing are significantly related to increased tobacco use among students. There is evidence to suggest independent association between tobacco use in Indian movies and over tobacco use among adolescents in India," he said.