58% of smokers polled do not have health insurance: Survey

India Infoline News Service | Mumbai |

Over 50% smokers think smoking within limits does not lead to health issues, reveals ICICI Lombard ‘Smoking habits – 2013’ survey.

ICICI Lombard General Insurance Company Ltd., the country’s largest private sector general insurance company, in association with GfK Mode, unveiled the ‘ICICI Lombard Smoking Habits 2013’ survey on The World No Tobacco Day. The comprehensive survey delves into the various social and psychological factors that influence smoking. The national survey interviewed 900 + smokers across the cities of Kolkata, Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore.

 

The “ICICI Lombard Smoking habits 2013” survey, takes cognizance of the urgent need to spread awareness about lifestyle habits of smoker and the ill effects of smoking. Commenting on the survey findings Shankar Nath, Head-Marketing & Direct, ICICI Lombard GIC Ltd. Said, “As a leading health insurer, we have a social and moral obligation towards promoting wellness and preventive healthcare. Smoking is one of the biggest threats to health, yet we have a tendency to accept it as  a part of our lives and ignore its negative impact. On the occasion of No Tobacco day, we would like to present our survey findings which decode the triggers and incentives for people to carry on with this deadly habit. We believe that the survey findings, along with our exhaustive claims related data, will help relevant stakeholders and the community at large to address the issue of smoking, thereby enabling people to move towards a healthier lifestyle.”

 

The ‘ICICI Lombard Smoking Habits 2013’ survey also reveals  data about average age at which respondents have started smoking, factors prompting the respondents to take up  smoking, frequency of smoking etc. The average smoker smokes 5 cigarettes a day, and half of the smokers continue smoking as they feel that smoking within limits does not lead to health issues. When asked about quitting, 1 in every 2 smoker admitted that they are contemplating to quit smoking. They are of the opinion that their own will power and an alternative chewing gum / cigarette without tobacco will help them to quit smoking.  


Key findings of the survey:

  • Sample included 914 habitual smokers between 18-35 years, who smoke atleast once a day, across Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata and Bangalore.

  • Majority of smokers (67%) started smoking between 16-20 years. Friends / peers is the most important influencer to start smoking (87%). Another key factor to trigger smoking was pressure at work.

  • 30% of women are also influenced by celebrities in films/ ads 52% of the female smokers, as compared to 35% of male smokers, didn’t show any inclination to quit smoking.

  • Mumbai leads the pack with 32% smoking on an average 7 -10 cigarettes a day, followed by Kolkata with 29% smoking 4-6 cigarettes a day and Bangalore with 43% smoking  2-3 cigarettes a day on an average.  Delhi was the lowest with 35% limiting their average consumption to just 1 cigarette a day.

  • Kolkata residents are least exposed to passive smoking. 

  • 82% of respondents agreed that they find smoking as a style statement among today’s youth. 92% of Kolkata respondents were highly aware that smoking causes lung cancer whereas smokers in both Delhi and Kolkata smoke often to relieve stress. Interestingly, a large portion of respondents in Mumbai (74%) and Bangalore (85%) felt that Indian society prohibits girls from smoking.

  • Shockingly, a large portion of smokers (77%) feel that smoking or limited smoking will not have any adverse affects on their health.

  • 52% of the female smokers, as compared to 35% of male smokers, didn’t show any inclination to quit smoking.

  • While own will power was given the key motivator to quit smoking. In Mumbai (22%) and Kolkata (32%) said that support of family and friends was a big factor. At the same time a large number smokers in Delhi (29%) and Bangalore (31%) feel that a counselor with regular monitoring will help them quit smoking.

  • Chewing gum and reducing the number of cigarettes were seen as the steps toward quitting smoking.

  • 65% were not aware of the advantages in terms of premiums on health insurance, if they are non smokers.

  • Out of the claim analysis done by ICICI Lombard for last two years, 5% of the total cancer claims were tobacco consumption related. Out of these 75% were claims made by male customers and 25%  were made by female customers

  • 46-55 years was the most affected age group for tobacco related claims with 31% male and 41% female customers contributing to the age bracket.


 

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