The survey, an Indian first, was conducted on adult smokers by IPSOS on behalf of the non-profit organisation, FactAsia.org. Four major cities in India (Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai) have been chosen for a total number of 813 people.
India, a tobacco producer and consumer
Tobacco consumers, according to the WHO’s figures (last GATS survey in 2009-2010) represent almost one out of two males and one out of three people aged 15 and above in the country. They are potentially the second larger pool of tobacco consumers in the world, after Chinese people.
Smokers and tobacco producers, two sides of the same coin
FactAsia.org calls Indian smokers for action
Heneage Mitchell, FactAsia Managing director and co-founder, said in a press release that “There is a clear need for action in India to regularize the industry and to establish quality standards, tax the products rationally and ensure they are made available only to adults, like many other consumer items“, he adds, “The government has a great opportunity to ensure there is no repeat of the situation that has arisen with conventional tobacco products“.
The organization officially calls smokers to action in order to release pressure on e-cigarettes since many states in the country are banning vaping products. Indian health officials clearly expressed their concerns on vaping while their counterpart in England have described e-cigarettes as “more than 95 per cent safer than smoking” and a far less harmful alternative to smoking for those who can’t or don’t want to stop.
FactAsia.org is is an independent consumer advocacy whose goal is to ensure all information presented – in any form – “is factual, rational and supported (wherever appropriate) by verifiable data”, reads their website.
The LinkedIn page of its Managing Director reads that the organization “seeks a reasoned and informed debate on the rights of smokers to enjoy their chosen habit and the products they have bought, which contribute mightily to the tax take of almost every country on earth“. The description further reads that the organization does “NOT represent the views of the tobacco industry. We believe in the right of smokers to enjoy their smoking (within reason and with appropriate – but reasonable – regulation. We represent the consumer, not the tobacco industry.”
Factasia.org involve vapers while PMI approach vendors
Despite this statement, the (financial) supporters that appear in the list are in direct link with the tobacco industry. Among them we find:
- Moisttech develops moisture sensors for different sectors among which the tobacco industry,
- Axiom Select LLC that provides expert services exclusively to the tobacco industry,
- Primary Engineering (Thailand) Ltd offers solutions for tobacco manufacturers, from tobacco crop harvest to conditioning,
- Cerulean, a leader in tobacco product testing,
- Philip Morris International (PMI), is Altria’s subsidiary and a tobacco leader on the global market.