13 things you may not know about Indian smokers
If the numbers are to be believed, the gory pictorial warnings on the cigarette packs and ads in movie halls has had an effect on smokers.
According to a survey by Edelweiss, 65% of the smokers they polled have thought about quitting cigarette after seeing the healthwarning on the packs.
However, this may not impact the cigarette industry since 87 percent of all smokers buy their cigarettes loose compared to the mere 13 percent who buy packets which contains the pictorial warning.
Gutkha ban augers well for cigarette industry
The survey also found that the gutkha banin 26 states and 7 union territories indirectly helps cigarette manufacturers as consumers of the tobacco product will switch to cigarettes.
"From oursurvey this trend emerges as the gutkha users have either shifted to the consumption of cigarettes (38% of gutkha consumer) or have stopped the use of tobacco at all," the report said.
The survey also explained why your local paanwala stocks small sweets at all times and why it could be an avenue of growth for some companies.
"47% of the smokers buy confectionaries along with cigarettes which creates an opportunity for the confectionery companies particularly cigarette companies that manufacture them such as ITC with Candyman and Godfrey Phillips with Funda Goli) to leverage uponcigarette distribution channels to grow its confectionary sales," Edelweiss said.
Following are the key highlights of the survey:
1. 72% smokers belonged to metros with Mumbai having the largest number of smokers.
2. 22% of the 1166 respondents' smoke, of which 66% are regular smokers while the remaining smoke occasionally.
3. As per Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS) - India 2010 survey, cigarette smokers form 5.7% of the adult population
4. 83% of the people started smoking when they were in the age of 15-25. As per GATS the average age initiation of tobacco use is 17.8 and with India being a young country having more than 50% of its population below the age of 25 the possibility of the cigarette consumption increasing is high.
5. 79% of the smokers smoke more than 1 cigarette a day, 27% of the smokers smoke about 2-5 cigarettes a day while about 22% of them smoke 5-10 cigarettes a day. The proportion of people smoking more than 10 cigarettes is 14%.
6. ITC brands remain the first choice of the smokers being used by 68% of smokers. Classic Mild is the most smoked cigarette (18.6%), followed by Gold Flake Kings and Gold Flake Light (17.9% and 13.4% respectively). Godfrey Phillips is the second most preferred company with 14% of the people smoking its products i.e. Malboro (~13%) and Four Square (1%).
7. Smokers stick to their preferred brand; as 90% of the smokers do not shift to other brands due to price increase. The report expects ITC's cigarette margins to improve despite price hikes due to high brand loyalty.
8. The main reason due to which people start smoking is curiousity (66% of smokers polled said so). Awareness among the people about the harmful effects of smoking has resulted in 39% smokers decreasing their cigarette consumption gradually over a period of 2-3 years. Still 40% of smokers maintained their consumption trend of smoking while 21% of smokers increased their consumption over a period of time.
9. There is also a strong correlation when there is an immediate family member that smoke and the habit influencing the other members of the family. 21% of the immediate family member of the respondent smoke which is in line with the 22% of the respondents who smoke.
10. 66% of the smokers have tried to quit smoking, urban consumers are more willing to give up smoking as compared to their rural peers.
11.32% of the smokers spend more than Rs 50 on cigarettes per day. 24% of smokers spend less than Rs 10 per day which means they either smoke only 1 cigarette a day or they smoke 2-3 64mm cigarettes a day. The per capita consumption of cigarette in India is 96 per annum which is one of the lowest in the world.
However when compared with other items consumed on a daily basis (like soaps, shampoos etc), the the amount spent on cigarette per consumption is higher which can come down due to inflationary pressures (Consumers might reduce their cigarette consumption from 3 to 2 per day or may be reduce to 1, since they might feel the pinch of the price increase as the consumption of other day to day important items cannot be reduced).
12. 60% of the smokers are not affected by the ban on consumption of cigarettes in publicplaces.
13. 39% of the smokers preferred shifting to electronic cigarette in the wake of health issue. 27% smokers were not ready to shift to electronic cigarette while the remaining were unaware about this alternative.
The health ministry is considering more bans to curb cigarette smoking. But is it just a cop out?
If you are one of those brand loyal, furiously-puffing cigarette consumers, your body is going to cheer this piece of news even as your mind is going to loathe it -- because your search for your brand of Benson & Hedges and Marlboro may just get tougher.
Diversified conglomerate ITC has raised the prices of select cigarette brands like Classic and Gold Flake Kings by up to Rs 10/pack