A survey conducted in five major Indian cities has revealed that smokers suffer from poor physical and mental health, but find it difficult to kick the butt despite being aware of the serious health risks. Smokers are 178% more likely to suffer from mental stress than non-smokers, according to the study titled ‘Choose Life’.
The study was conducted among 1,000 individuals, both smokers and non-smokers, in New Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Lucknow and Bengaluru. The study showed that nine in 10 smokers have made efforts to kick the habit, but have struggled to quit even after knowing the serious health risks associated with it. Researchers found that three in four respondents smoked even if they were unwell and eight in 10 smokers felt the urge to light a cigarette as soon as they woke up.
Alarmingly, more than 65% men who smoke cigarettes had high blood pressure and four out of five smokers higher levels of carbon monoxide as compared to non- smokers, according to the report. Almost 88% of the smokers surveyed picked up the habit under the age of 24, and 55 per cent started smoking “to look cool” or “just for fun”, the report found. “Awareness on the ill-effects of smoking is very high among smokers. While most efforts today focus on driving this awareness, it will be imperative to make a shift towards helping people in their quit journey,” said Prashant Chhajed, a pulmonologist attached to Fortis and Nanavati Hospitals.