Preliminary data indicates a smoking rate of approximately 17% among males and 1% among females; these figures jump to 33% and 6%, respectively, when related to smokeless tobacco.
The COVID-19 pandemic prompted the city to take action on tobacco control, moving simultaneously to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and of tobacco-related cancers.
In India, the COVID-19 pandemic is driving cities and states to implement tobacco control measures to curb virus spread. With over 200 million smokeless tobacco users in India, sub-national governments are building on momentum to strengthen tobacco control policies, reduce prevalence and avert years of illness and hundreds of thousands of preventable deaths per year. Ahmedabad—the largest city in India’s western state of Gujarat—took early action on smokeless tobacco control, recognizing the threat to COVID-19 transmission. A ban on spitting in public, the closure of stores selling chewing tobacco and other measures all follow efforts by the city in recent years to prioritize prevention of tobacco-related cancers and other noncommunicable diseases (NCDs).
Key resources on COVID-19 and tobacco control: