On the occasion of World No Tobacco Day, a survey commissioned by the ICICI Lombard General Insurance has found out that the younger respondents demonstrated a more vocal and acceptance approach towards smoking than their middle aged counterparts.
Assessing the smoking patterns and the behavior of younger smokers versus old when it comes to revealing their smoking habits to others, the survey brings out some stark realities showing difference in the smoking patterns of a youngster between an age group of 20-35 years and a middle age adult ranging in the age group of 35-50 years.
On an average, respondents in the younger age group smoke 7 cigarettes in a day vis-à-vis 5 by a middle age adult. Consequently, a respondent in the age between 20-35 years smokes 28% more, on an average, than a 36-50 year old.
Apart from the higher nicotine consumption pattern, the younger respondents demonstrated a more vocal and acceptance approach towards smoking than their middle aged counterparts. 43% respondents of 20-35 year old group are upfront about their smoking habits while only 27% of the 36-50 year old respondents do so about their habit.
While the 35-50 year olds shy away from opening up about their smoking habit, the younger respondents derive a feeling of acceptance amongst their peers by flaunting the habit.
The survey also delved into the willingness to open up on smoking habits etc. on social media. The findings reveal that youngsters are more forthright to show off this habit on social media. 23% young respondents (20-35 years) smoke to look cool, far higher than the 35-50 year olds. Further, 15% young respondents found it acceptable to post their pictures while smoking on social media. In contrast, the older set of respondents was clear that smoking was a personal affair (53%) and 23% believed that they should not be showing off this habit on social media.
The emotional mindset of an individual still remains the key trigger for smoking. The younger group of respondents smoke more to relieve stress while the 35-50 year olds hold work pressure accountable for the addiction. The survey revealed that smoking patterns are impacted due to certain events in life that has led to drastic shifts in favour of smoking.
One of such shifts is getting a job, 37% of respondents increased cigarette consumption after getting employed. The downfall in this habit is mainly attributed to deteriorating health (25%), post-marriage (21%) and after having a child (13%). Also as a gender comparison, emotional distress was the key differentiator in male-female smoking habits.
Women in the age group of 36-50 years smoked more when emotionally low compared to their male counterparts. Of all the respondents, 60% admitted to have never tried quitting the habit as it was out of their control. Of the remaining, who tried to quit, named family pressure & health concern as the biggest motivators.
Sanjay Datta, Chief-Underwriting, Claims & Reinsurance, ICICI Lombard General Insurance Company Ltd. said, “Smoking as a habit has been medically proven to be harmful. Moreover, there is a higher concern that this habit is being picked up by the younger generation, some of who believe in smoking to look cool. Smoking affects young adults and teens more profoundly. It decreases longevity, gives rise to critical illnesses and ruins their chance to a flourishing and healthy life. Therefore, we consider it our responsibility to warn and caution consumers on the effects of smoking and urge them to quit smoking.”
The survey was taken online by 1000 respondents across four metros conducted using a structured questionnaire.