Trends in bidi and cigarette smoking in India 1998 to 2015

Trends in bidi and cigarette smoking in India from 1998 to 2015, by age, gender and education

A new CGHR publication in BMJ Global Health examines smoking trends in India over the last 17 years.

Smoking of cigarettes or bidis (small, locally manufactured smoked tobacco) in India has changed over the last decade. The age-standardised prevalence of any smoking in men at ages 15–69 years fell from about 27% in 1998 to 24% in 2010, but rose at ages 15–29 years. Despite modest decreases in smoking prevalence, the absolute numbers of male smokers aged 15–69 years has increased substantially. Cigarettes are displacing bidi smoking, most notably among young adult men and illiterate men. Tobacco control policies need to adapt to these changes, most notably with higher taxation on tobacco products, so as to raise the currently low levels of adult smoking cessation.