White paper on smokeless tobacco & women's health in India

Indian J Med Res. 2020 Jun;151(6):513-521. doi: 10.4103/ijmr.IJMR_537_20.


Smokeless tobacco (SLT) use is widespread across many nations and populations, and India shares more than three-quarters of the global burden of SLT consumption. Tobacco use in India has been largely viewed as a male-dominant behaviour. However, evidence from medical, social and behavioural sciences show significant SLT use among women and young girls. This paper highlights key dimensions of SLT use among women in India including prevalence and determinants, the health effects arising from SLT use and cessation behaviours. The paper concludes by providing recommendations with the aim of setting research priorities and policy agenda to achieve a tobacco-free society. The focus on women and girls is essential to achieve the national targets for tobacco control under the National Health Policy, 2017, and Sustainable Development Goals 3 of ensuring healthy lives and promote well-being for all.

Keywords: India; public health; smokeless tobacco; tobacco control; women.

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Humans
  • India / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Publications
  • Tobacco Use / epidemiology
  • Tobacco Use Disorder* / epidemiology
  • Tobacco, Smokeless* / adverse effects
  • Women's Health