Project Super Army

Gateway to Tobacco Abuse

Supari : Carcinogenic in nature, and acclamatises children to chewing tobacco.

Aggressive marketing : The tobacco industry lures youth with the same colours, designs and characters as supari, pan masala and other popular mouth fresheners. A low price point aggrevates the problem.

Easy availability : Tobacco is an ever-present part of the environment Indian children live in

  • 22% of children live in homes where tobacco is smoked in their presence.
  • 36.6% report exposure to secondhand smoke outside their homes.
  • Tobacco becomes socially acceptable to children when offered at weddings and social gatherings.

Poor Implementation of India’s tobacco control law COTPA (Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act, 2003) : Flavoured e-cigarettes and nicotene gums attract new users particularly the youth. This expands the options available to them.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2013). India Global Youth Tobacco Survey. Atlanta, GA : Author.

Children in low-income neighbourhoods are easy targets.


The most affected by easy availability, low price and relentless marketing by the tobacco industry, are the less-fortunate children growing up in India’s slums. Here, tobacco-use is pervasive. The reasons are several.With the monthly household income often less than 5,000, it’s a harsh environment for children who lack proper guidance and are unable to differentiate between right and wrong.