Have Indian consumers kicked the habit ?

The habit of smoking in India is dying. At least that what it seems according to the 61st survey on household consumer expenditure by National Sample Survey Organisation (NSSO).

According to the report, “Per capita consumption of bidis dropped substantially in rural and urban areas. The overall fall from 1993-94 to 2004-05 is about 31 per cent in rural areas and 42 per cent in urban areas.” The report also added that "the proportion of households having at least one bidi smoker has declined by 26 per cent in rural India and 35 per cent in urban areas".

It is important to note that, not so long ago, the Indian government had banned 'smoking scenes' in Indian movies. The move had drawn flak from film-makers who called it a curb on 'artistic freedom' but the ban had been welcomed by campaigners.

But its all not so good news. Pan chewing, on the other hand, has gone up in rural areas with the per capita consumption rising by 28 per cent. In urban areas, pan consumption declined by 18 per cent during the period.


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