Thiruvananthapuram: Smokers in Kerala spend nearly nine per cent of their income on smoking, a survey by the Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS) has revealed. Chief Minister Oommen Chandy recently released the report to Paul Sebastian, director, Regional Cancer Centre and vice chairman of Tobacco Free Kerala.
The GAT Survey, conducted under the coordination of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare in 2009-10, states that the monthly expenditure of a smoker on cigarettes is Rs 484 and Rs 139 on bidis. The survey also says that 58.6 per cent users consume tobacco within half-an-hour of waking up.
In Kerala, 21.4 per cent of adults including 35.5 per cent of males and 8.5 per cent of females use tobacco in some form. While the average age of starting to use tobacco among adults in India is 17.8 years, in Kerala it is 18.3 years.