STATE OF SMOKING IN INDIA - Foundation for a Smoke-Free World

State of smoking in



Member of the

India Smoking by the Numbers

Smoking Reduction

In 2000, 33.8% of men and 5.7% of women smoked. By 2010, 23.5% of men and 2.5% of women smoked. Currently, smoking rates are down to 14.0%.

Tobacco Types

The most common type of tobacco is boxed cigarettes at 81%, followed by hand-rolled cigarettes, and then cigarillos.

Tobacco Deaths

The number of tobacco related deaths has decreased from 106 to 89 per 100,000 from 1990 to 2017. With men decreasing 158 to 134 and women 53 to 43.

Breast v Lung Cancer in Women (Deaths, 2017)

Breast: 1.68%, lung: 0.52%

Media Dialogue


Smoking is engrained in the culture of India, woven into traditions, gestures of friendship and religion. As such, there is not much public dialogue about the health dangers of smoking and methods of quitting or alternatives to smoking.

“I would like to tell the people who are not addicted, who haven’t started, that once you are into it, it is really hard to quit.” – Amit Majhi, smoker struggling to quit

– Amit Majhi, smoker struggling to quit

Tobacco Regulations​​

Public Smoking


All public places, except for airports, certain capacity hotels, and restaurants with designated smoking areas.

Point of sale Displays


Advertising ban. 

Branded Packs


As of 2016, India implemented pictorial warnings covering more than 85% of cigarette packaging.

Attitudes and Perceptions

How harmful are e-cigs compared to cigarettes?

Perception of relative harm of vaping devices. From the Foundation’s 2017 and 2019 Global Polls, participants were asked, “Do you think smoking e-cigarettes and vaping devices are more or less harmful than smoking regular cigarettes?”

*Data from the 2017 Global Poll


55.0% of Indian tobacco product users believe that nicotine in e-cigarettes and NRT like patch or gum causes cancer (2019 global poll)


In India, 51.9% of nicotine and tobacco users feel it would be too difficult to quit their tobacco consumption (2019 global poll)


In India, 61.9% of nicotine and tobacco product users believe that health warnings on packages are exaggerated (2019 global poll)


82.1% of smokeless tobacco users and those aware of smokeless tobacco products are worried that consuming smokeless tobacco products will damage their health in the future (2019 global poll)


68.7% of Indian product users believe that tobacco-related cancer is primarily caused by nicotine (2019 global poll)

Have you ever spent money on cigarettes that you knew would be better spent on household essentials like food?

Would an increase in tobacco price have an effect on your current smoking habit?

WordPress Appliance - Powered by TurnKey Linux