On the occasion of World No Tobacco Day, a survey has pointed out that a majority of India’s population believes that stopping the sale of loose cigarettes can be instrumental in deterring smoking among people. The survey, “The Pulse of the Nation Poll” conducted jointly by Inshorts and Ipsos, included 8,179 unique participants between the age group of 18 and 30. Most of the participants were male. From effectiveness of warning graphics on cigarette boxes to the motivations behind smoking a cigarette, the poll recorded responses on various topics to map the trends about tobacco consumption. Few of the key findings include
Ban on Loose Cigarettes
About 59 percent Indians believe that ban on single sticks will reduce the number of smokers in the country. Availability of cigarettes without any hassle makes it simpler for the smokers to sneak-in a stick at any point of the day. Also, the fact that a single stick is far more affordable than the whole package makes it an attractive offer for the youngsters who manage to puff a smoke easily in a nearby paan-shop. About 61 percent of active smokers also share a similar viewpoint.
In fact, the government of India had also come up with a proposal to support the prohibition on sale of unpacked cigarettes. Many states like Jammu and Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh do not allow the trading of single sticks.
Graphic Images and Healthcare Expert
The poll also suggests that 69 percent Indians disprove the idea of warning images on cigarette packs as a disincentive. In India more than three-quarters of space on packets of cigarettes and other tobacco products is given to warn people about the harmful effects of smoking. It is also mandatory for films to show a statutory warning before the movie begins and also in any scene where tobacco consumption is shown. A number of people have however said it serves no purpose.
“Our survey shows that health experts’ advice on ills of smoking are taken more seriously vis-à-vis Warning Visuals on Cigarette Packs,” says Parijat Chakraborty, executive director, India, Ipsos Public Affairs. In fact, 83 percent respondents said they reduced the number of cigarettes based on experts’ advice.