'Smoking on rise among young working women in India'
Kolkata: Casual and social smoking is on rise amid young working women across metros in India, noted a recent survey conducted by Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (Assocham) Social Development Foundation ahead of International Women's Day.
The survey was conducted to ascertain the smoking pattern in young working women, many of whom consider it as a 'stress buster.' "Growing number of young working women (mostly with high-paid jobs and an active life) are indulging in social smoking but they must realise it is 'uncool' and that they are placing their heart health at risk by occasionally indulging in cigarettes," said Assocham secretary general, DS Rawat while releasing the findings of the survey.
"More and more number of young women can be seen all around commercial hubs in metros enjoying a smoke comfortably with their colleagues, this is certainly a disturbing trend," Rawat added.
The social development arm of Assocham analysed a sample of about 2,000 women between ages 22 and 30 years in 10 urban centres that included Kolkata, Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi-NCR, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Lucknow, Mumbai and Pune during the course of past four weeks.
It may be mentioned that as per the survey about only two percent said they were heavy smokers (smoking a pack a day or more), majority of these said that peer pressure and work related stress push them to increase the number of cigarettes they smoke everyday. Some even said they smoked for weight loss.
Interestingly, all of these women belonged to top tier cities like Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi, Kolkata
Of the total, about 40 percent identified themselves as very light smokers with a habit of smoking 1-2 cigarettes either daily or occasionally. About 12 percent said they were light smokers (2-3 cigarettes a day). Some of them even said they smoked casually owing to the 'cool' factor and even associated with feelings of attractiveness, independence and sophistication.
Of the remaining, 46 percent, about one-fourth said they had quit smoking. Majority of those who had quit smoking attributed the reason to fear of ill effects of smoking on conceiving/fertility and high risk disorders like breast cancer.