Survey shows rise in tobacco use in Goa, needs control: Campaigner

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Panaji : The Goa government needs to strengthen tobacco control efforts in the state, after a survey found a slight increase in the use of tobacco in the coastal state, an anti-tobacco campaigner said on Friday.

"The rise in tobacco consumption in Goa indicates that government needs to strengthen tobacco control efforts and people need more awareness on the health and financial burden that tobacco use brings with it," said Dr. Shekhar Salkar, president of the National Organisation for Tobacco Eradication.

The comments come on the heels of a findings revealed in a study conducted by Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS 2), which was released by the Union Ministry Of Health And Family Welfare recently.

"The recent Global Adult Tobacco Survey 2 (GATS 2) released by the Ministry shows 9.7 per cent of adults in Goa consume tobacco in some form or the other. The state has shown a rise in tobacco consumption from 8.8 per cent in the last survey held in 2009-10 to 9.7 per cent now in the recent survey," Salkar said, adding that tobacco consumption at the national level had reduced marginally.

"From GATS 1 to GATS 2, the prevalence of smoking in Goa has decreased by 0.6 percentage points, however the decrease is not significant. It is noteworthy to mention that the prevalence of smokeless tobacco use has increased significantly by 1.9 percentage points," Salkar said.

GATS is a global standard for monitoring adult tobacco usage (smoking and smokeless) and is aimed at enhancing countries' capacity to design, implement and evaluate tobacco control policies and programmes.