Tobacco Use in South East Asian Region (SEAR) Countries

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Consequences of Tobacco use

  Tobacco is the only legal consumer product, which kills more than half the people who use it.

  Use of tobacco may cause wide range of diseases in whole body.

  Second-hand smoke also has serious and often fatal health consequences.

  The chemicals within this are associated with cancer.

SEAR countries tobacco use

  Nearly 1 million tobacco related deaths occurred in the region.

  Although cancers, cardiovascular and respiratory diseases are already major health problems in most member countries of the region, tobacco use accelerates them.

  India and Indonesia are among the top ten tobacco consuming countries in the world.

Types of tobacco products consumed in the region

  1.  Smoking .

  2.  Smokeless.


  Poor people in this region use low-cost smoking products such as beds, cheroots, roll-your-own cigarettes, dhumti, chutes, Chillums, hookah, pipes and cigars. On the other hand, rich people are using manufactured ones.

Smokeless tobacco products

  Commonly used smokeless form of tobacco is Betel quid which known as paan in India, Bangladesh and Nepal, kwanya in Myanmar and sirih in Indonesia.

  Use of smokeless tobacco products among children, youth and women has increased in recent times in the region.

  The reason for widespread use of tobacco products is aggressive marketing by the tobacco industry.

Tobacco use among adults

The prevalence of tobacco use varies significantly across the member countries.

Smoking tobacco use ranges from 26% (India) to 61% (Indonesia) in males and less than 1% (Sri Lanka) to 29% (Nepal) among females.

Daily cigarette smoking among males ranges from 7% (India) to 53% (DPR Korea).

Smokeless tobacco product use among men ranges from 1.3% (Thailand) to 51.4% (Myanmar).

Tobacco use among students aged 13–15 years

There is a high prevalence of tobacco use among youth in the Region.

Among boys any form of tobacco use ranges from 8.5% (Maldives) to 55% (Timor-Leste) and 3.4% (Maldives) to 30% (Timor- Leste) in girls.

Source: WHO-2011 report
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