Andhra Pradesh has the highest number of people who smoke tobacco, in south India, according to a new study backed by the World Health Organization (WHO).
The Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS) conducted by Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) along with Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said that 19% of men, 2% of women and 10.7% (99.5 million) of all adults currently smoke tobacco.
On the other hand, 29.6% of men, 12.8% of women and 21.4% (199.4 million) of all adults use smokeless tobacco.
As far as Andhra Pradesh is concerned, the study found that 14.2% of the people smoke, compared to India's national average at 10.7, while 7.1% use smokeless tobacco, which was much lesser than the national average at 21.4%.
While Mizoram ranked highest in the country with 34.4% smokers, all southern states except Andhra remained below the national average.
The study found that 8.3% of the people in Telangana were smokers, while the figure for Karnataka was 8.8%. The study said the number of people who smoke tobacco in Kerala was 9.3%, while the figure for Tamil Nadu was 10.5%.
However, when it came to the combined prevalence of current tobacco of smoking and smokeless tobacco among states and union territories, Andhra Pradesh fared much better.
While both Andhra and Tamil Nadu were both ranked at 20%, Telangana was ranked at 18.8% and Karnataka and Kerala at 22.8% and 12.7% respectively. This, against India's national average at 28.6%.
The study also found that 92.4% of adults believed that smoking causes serious illness and 95.6% of adults believed that use of smokeless tobacco causes serious illness.
Despite this, the average monthly expenditure on cigarettes by a daily smoker, amounted to Rs 1,192.5. The same figure for beedis was Rs 284.
It also said that awareness campaigns and advertisements asking people to quit tobacco, were working well.
GATS 2 is a national representative survey that helps countries fulfil their obligations under the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control of the World Health Organisation.