A little less than eight per cent of students at the Delhi University North Campus are smokers, with 18.4 per cent males and 3.3 per cent of them females, a
study has revealed.
In a pointer to the fact that smokers start young, the study also says that almost 48 per cent of the smokers start smoking at school, while 52.4 per cent pick up the habbit at
The survey was conducted by the World Lung Foundation (WLF) in collaboration with the Delhi University administration to assess prevalence of tobacco consumption
amongst the North Campus students.
Comparisions to a similar survey conducted by the VPCI in 2003 revealed that the university campus has witnessed a significant decline in the number of smokers, with the figures five years back standing at 23.5 per cent and 3.9 per cent for males and females respectively.
"The survey findings also revealed that while 95 per cent of the smokers know it is a harmful act, only 14 per cent had a clear understanding of which organs and body systems if affected," said Dr G R Khatri, President of WLF.
Moreover, 56.6 per cent of the smokers were aware of the existence of the anti-smoking law in general and 64.5 per cent knew about the smoking ban on the University campus.
"The knowledge that it an offence, therefore does not prove to be sufficient to deter addicted people to smoking," Khatri said.
In another interesting finding, the survey also showed that while men of both lower and higher income groups were equally addicted to smoke, 84 per cent of female smokers
belonged to the higher income group that is with over Rs 20,000 per month.
Among those who take to smoking, 62 per cent start it for "fun and pleasure", while 30.4 per cent do it to relieve stress, the survey found.
On the front of the smoking scene at the campus, the findings show that despite the existence of a law, the 34.6 per cent of the smokers but tobacco products from the campus and 41.8 per cent of the smokers smoke in the campus itself.
Besides, the campus wide survey also found that almost 1,100 episodes of smoking happened at 14 dens at the campus and more than 78 per cent of the clients but tobacco from four major outlets adjoining the campus and its major colleges.