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What Prohibition? NFHS Report Finds Bihar Drinks More Than Maharashtra

Image for representation. Credits: Flickr Creative Commons/Lazaros Papadopoulos.

Image for representation. Credits: Flickr Creative Commons/Lazaros Papadopoulos.

The NFHS report also comes in the wake of Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar ordering strict enforcement of the prohibition law. Kumar also directed officials to act tough against violators, including those from outside the state.

Alcohol and consumption of tobacco-related products have always shown to be very unevenly divided across the country and now, adding to it, the recent report of the National Family Health Survey(NFHS) has also revealed some interesting new developments. Bihar, the state with a prohibition order in place, sees more alcohol consumption than Maharashtra, the report found.

The report found that while 14 percent of men in urban areas consume alcohol, 15.8 percent of their rural counterparts did the same. Tobacco consumption too showed interesting results with the areas of north-east featuring on top of the list.

The NFHS report also comes in the wake of Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar ordering strict enforcement of the prohibition law. Kumar also directed officials to act tough against violators, including those from outside the state.

The findings are part of the report that Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare, Dr Harsh Vardhan released as the facts and key indicators on population, reproductive and child health, family welfare, nutrition and others for 22 States/Union Territories (UTs) of the First Phase of the 2019-20 National Family Health Survey (NFHS-5) on Tuesday.

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The report has also found that in all the states, consumption of tobacco is much higher as compared to alcohol. Also in earlier reports, it was found that chewing of tobacco products are on the higher side than smoking. Mizoram topped the chart with over 75 percent of men and over 65 of women consuming it. The lowest on the rung is Kerala and Goa with 17 and 18 percent respectively.

Coming to alcohol, women in Sikkim and Assam are in the first two spots with 16.2% and 7.3%. Close at heels is Telangana. Also, an interesting fact the survey finds is the consumption of alcohol more in rural areas than in urban regions.

The report also mentions that the lowest consumption of alcohol has been noted in Gujarat and Jammu.

The main objective of successive rounds of the NFHS is to provide reliable and comparable datasets on health, family welfare and other emerging issues. The NFHS-5 is being conducted in around 6.1 lakh sample households to provide disaggregated data up to district levels. Four rounds of NFHS (1992-93, 1998-99, 2005-06 and 2015-16) have been successfully completed in India. All the rounds of NFHS have been conducted by the International Institute for Population Sciences (IIPS), Mumbai, as the national nodal agency.

The NFHS-5 includes new focal areas such as expanded domains of child immunization, components of micro-nutrients to children, menstrual hygiene, frequency of alcohol and tobacco use, additional components of non-communicable diseases (NCDs), expanded age ranges for measuring hypertension and diabetes among all, aged 15 years and above.

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