New Delhi, May 6
Only one per cent of women in India drink alcohol compared with 22 per cent of men, while 39 per cent of men and 4 per cent of women aged between 15 and 49 years use some form of tobacco, according to the latest National Family Health Survey (NFHS) report.
Among the women who consume alcohol, 17 per cent drink almost every day and 37 per cent about once a week. Among the men who drink alcohol, 15 per cent drink alcohol almost every day, 43 per cent about once a week, and 42 per cent less than once a week, the report said.
The NFHS-5 survey has been conducted in around 6.37 lakh sample households in 707 districts in 28 states and eight Union Territories, covering 7,24,115 women and 1,01,839 men to provide dis-aggregated estimates up to district level.
The percentage of women age 15-49 who drink alcohol is by far the highest among women in Arunachal Pradesh (18 per cent) and Sikkim (15 per cent). Alcohol use among men is the highest in Goa (59 per cent), followed by Arunachal Pradesh (57 per cent) and Telangana (50 per cent), and is the lowest in Lakshadweep (1 per cent).
The report found that drinking alcohol is more common among women from Scheduled Tribes (4 per cent) than from any other caste/tribe group. "Drinking is most common among Christian men (36 per cent) and men belonging to other religions (49 per cent), men with less than 5 years of schooling (33 per cent), men from Scheduled Tribes (34 per cent), and men aged 35-49 (30 per cent)," it stated.
Among men as well as women, the use of any form of tobacco is higher in rural areas than in urban areas. Among men, in urban areas cigarettes are more popular than any other form of tobacco, it said. "Thirty-nine per cent of men and 4 per cent of women age 15-49 use some form of tobacco. The most common form of tobacco consumption among men is chewing paan masala or gutkha (15 per cent), followed closely by smoking cigarettes (13 per cent), using khaini (12 per cent), and smoking bidis (7 per cent).
About 3 in 10 men and women who are tobacco users said they tried to stop smoking or using tobacco in any form in the 12 months preceding the survey. More than two-fifths (61 per cent) of female and more than half (54 per cent) of male tobacco users who visited a doctor or other health care provider in the 12 months preceding the survey were advised to stop smoking or using tobacco in any form, it said.
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