Global Epidemic



  • There are almost 275 million tobacco users in India.
  • More than one-third of adults (age 15+) use some form of tobacco, including almost half of men (48 percent) and 20 percent of women.
  • Among youth (age 13-15), 4 percent smoke cigarettes and almost 12 percent use other types of tobacco products.
  • Bidis, cheap hand-rolled cigarettes, are the most popular tobacco product used in India.
  • Bidis comprise 48 percent of the tobacco market, chewing tobacco 38 percent and cigarettes 14 percent.

Health Consequences

  • About 1 million Indians die from tobacco-related diseases each year in India.
  • Among youth (age 13-15), 27 percent are exposed to secondhand smoke at home and 40 percent are exposed to secondhand smoke in public places.

Tobacco Industry

The Imperial Tobacco Company Group holds 58 percent of the total cigarette market, Philip Morris International has 12 percent, while Golden Tobacco Ltd has 11 percent of the cigarette market. In 2008, over 98 billion cigarettes were sold in India. The illicit cigarette trade is a growing problem and accounted for approximately 20 percent of total sales (legal and illegal) in 2008.

Bidi rolling in India is a cottage-based industry employing mainly women and children. Bidis outsell cigarettes by a ratio of eight to one (8:1) in India.

FCTC Status

India ratified the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control on February 5, 2004.

Tobacco Control Policy Status

For the latest data regarding smoke-free places, advertising and promotion, packaging and labeling, and taxation and price, download the India Tobacco Control Policy Status fact sheet.

Updated: India 2014