Survey finds many Indian smokers unfazed by health risks


Over three-quarters of smokers surveyed in India believe that cigarette smoking does not have health consequences, according to the results of a survey by an insurance company released Friday.

The results of the survey by ICICI Lombard General Insurance Co., the country’s largest private sector general insurance company, were released to coincide with World No Tobacco Day.

“ICICI Lombard Smoking Habits 2013″ was conducted on 914 habitual smokers from Mumbai, New Delhi, Kolkata and Bangalore in the 18-34 age group who smoke at least once a day.

As many as 77 percent of respondents said smoking “within limits” will have no adverse impact on their health.

The survey also revealed that 67 percent started smoking when they were between 16 and 20 years old, with most of them picking up the habit under the influence of friends or peers, or due to work-related pressure.

Mumbai leads the pack with 32 percent of respondents smoking an average of seven to 10 cigarettes a day, followed by Kolkata with 29 percent smoking four to six a day.

According to a claim analysis done by ICICI Lombard for the last two years, the company said 5 percent of total cancer claims were tobacco related.