30.2 per cent of Indians are still prone to the dangerous effects of tobacco at their workplaces due to passive smoking, the Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS), India Report, 2016-17 revealed.
The involuntary inhalation of tobacco smoke from other people's cigarettes, cigars or pipes is equally detrimental to human lives which ups the risk of serious disorders such as heart diseases by 25 per cent, lung cancer by 20 per cent and stroke by 20 per cent.
The hard truth is that the most harmful tobacco smoke is invisible which travels through the air and lingers on. It can build up on surfaces and clothes even hours after smoking, according to Cancer Research UK.
Although the number of active tobacco smokers has dropped, there still remains 99.9 million tobacco smokers in India beginning from 15 years of age.
"42.4 per cent of men in India, 14.2 per cent women and 28.6 per cent of all adults currently smoke tobacco or use smokeless tobacco," the GATS report revealed.
Passive smoking is also a concern in Indian households since smoking is still prevalent in 48.8 per cent of all households and more so in rural parts of the country.
The children and pregnant women are the most vulnerable to passive smoking effects.
In children, the inhalation of toxins and chemicals causes respiratory complications, asthma, bacterial meningitis and cot death. For pregnant women, passive smoking leads to foetal abnormalities, stillbirth and low-weight babies.
Even if there is a law in place that prohibits smoking in public places in the country, the GATS survey said that one in four adults in India is exposed to second-hand tobacco smoke in public places.
The availability of smoking chambers at public places and workplaces have been of little help as the tobacco smoke and toxins can permeate the walls and stay put on clothes, desks, plastic among other things thus proving dangerous for non-smokers.