A recent study undertaken to identify the lifestyle and preferences of Indian teenagers has come up with rather disturbing figures.
It is found that 46 percent of teenagers found smoking to be a hip act that makes them appear ‘cool’ and mature among their peers and mates while 53 percent teenagers believe that smoking helps to fight stress and tension.
The study was carried out on 1,900 students across Delhi/NCR, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Chandigarh, Jaipur, Kolkata, and Chennai to figure out smoking habits among the teenagers.
“The results are disturbing. Peer pressure can cause youngsters to pick up the habit of smoking. This is because there is a need to impress others and stay at par with what comes across as the latest trends in being ‘cool’ and ‘fitting in’,” said Dr Samir Parikh, Director, Department of Mental Health and Behavioral Sciences, Fortis Healthcare.
World Health Organisation (WHO) has reckoned that over 7 million people die every year due to smoking and related habits out of which 6 million people die as a direct result of tobacco use.
Passive smoking accounts for the death of around 89,0000 non-smokers who are exposed to second-hand smoke.
The WHO had in 2015 recorded that in India, 34.6 percent adults are smokers. “Understanding that there is a problem which needs to be addressed is the first step towards overcoming tobacco addiction. Smoking is plaguing the society and we are moving into an era where it is acceptable for younger age groups to begin smoking and engage in other risky behaviours.
In order to wage a war against tobacco use, one must be fully equipped with adequate knowledge about how tobacco can affect the mind and body. The support system of anyone overcoming addiction must realize that the power of psychological dependence is extremely strong,” added Parikh.