This study summarizes the current state of knowledge on the harmful effects associated with cigarette smoking & alcohol consumption. The World Health Organization predicts that tobacco deaths in India may exceed 1.5 million annually by 2020. However, considerable research is required to comprehend the actual trends. Nationally representative and reliable prevalence data on tobacco consumption are scarce. Similarly, the sociodemographic predictors of tobacco smoking and chewing are poorly understood. The existing studies on prevalence of tobacco use are based on non-representative sample surveys or have been conducted in localised—mostly urban—geographical areas. WHO estimated a prevalence of tobacco consumption of all forms at 65% and 33%, respectively, among men and women, based on small scale studies conducted in the past.General population studies conducted different parts of the country suggest prevalence rates of use of alcoholic beverages ranging between 23% and 74% among males.