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Recent trends of tobacco use in India

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Tobacco use is associated with adverse health effects and is the prime cause of deaths globally, accounting for more than 7 million deaths annually. India is home to a substantial number of tobacco users, frequently characterized by people who are consuming smoke and smokeless tobacco, the synergistic effect of which accounts for a significant number.


This study aims to highlight and compare the recent trends in tobacco use in India and other countries based on the impact of parameters such as age, sex, occupation, level of exposure to tobacco, and tobacco taxation laws. It also intends to indicate the health hazards of tobacco use among men and women, explicitly highlighting its consequences on the reproductive health of women.


An organized literature review was executed using subject-specific research/review articles from the PubMed and NIH databases. Complete information on tobacco use prevalence was obtained using the Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS) and the Global Youth Tobacco Survey (GYTS) reports.


In recent years, tobacco users have been significantly reduced in response to modest tobacco control efforts in India, but its use is still widespread among middle-aged adults, less educated individuals and people living in rural and tobacco-cultivating areas of India.


Lack of awareness among people belonging to poor socioeconomic strata of the society, societal influence, and poor implementation of anti-tobacco laws could be the possible reasons for its widespread incidence. Hence, more rigorous anti-tobacco campaigns and widespread implementation of anti-tobacco regulations are the need of the hour.

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This research received no specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.

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A.C. and S.R. drafted the manuscript based on the conceptual ideas of S.R. S.H. provided critical feedback and helped in shaping the manuscript.

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Correspondence to Shazia Rashid.

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The authors declare that there is no conflict of interest in the publication.

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This study does not include any medical research performed on human participants by any of the authors.

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Chhabra, A., Hussain, S. & Rashid, S. Recent trends of tobacco use in India. J Public Health (Berl.) 29, 27–36 (2021).

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