Indian youth perceive smoking as fashionable trend: Survey

Kolkata, June 13 (IANS) A survey in India’s four metro cities shows youngsters consider smoking cigarettes as fashionable, the pull factor being peer pressure and work pressure.

Spanning 900-plus smokers in four metropolises – Delhi, Bangalore, Kolkata and Mumbai, the study conducted by GFK Mode notes that 82 percent of respondents view smoking as a trend among youngsters.

A staggering 87 percent of smokers are influenced by friends and peers, whereas 31 percent say they opted for the cancer stick to beat work-related stress.

On an average, a smoker puffs five cigarettes per day, although a majority are aware that it is one of the prime causes of lung cancer.

Awareness notwithstanding, half of the subjects (52 percent out of a base of 914) harbour the notion that if they keep within limits, it would not affect their health.

Despite being chain smokers, one in two smokers are thinking of quitting smoking, but on the downside in the last 12 months, only 28 percent have taken steps to implement their decision.

On the plus side, those who had acted towards achieving a non-smoker status, only 29 percent went for alternatives like chewing-gum etc.

Moreover, only a dismal four in ten smokers have health insurance with five percent of cancer claims directly attributed to tobacco-related cancer.

The survey was unveiled by ICICI Lombard General Insurance Company Ltd. here Thursday.

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