Publication year: 2009
Publication type: peer reviewed journal
Citation: Bhojani UM, Chander SJ, Devadasan N. Tobacco use and related factors among pre-university students in a college in Bangalore, India. National Medical Journal of India 2009;22(6):294-97
Available full text at the National Medical Journal of India
Background Tobacco use imposes a huge disease burden in India. Most studies on tobacco issues amongst the students in India have focused on secondary school students with a few studies investigating younger children and the university students. We aim to find out the tobacco use and related factors among the Pre-University College students in Bangalore City.
Methods A cross sectional study was conducted among 300 male students of a purposively selected Pre-University College in Bangalore City. All the students from four out of ten randomly selected classes were enrolled. Anonymous self-administered questionnaire was used to collect information on the extent and pattern of tobacco consumption, factors associated with use/non use of tobacco products, and awareness about the harmful effects of tobacco use.
Results Prevalence of ever tobacco use was 15.7% (95%CI: 11.7-20.3) of which 5.3% (95%CI: 3.1-8.7) were current tobacco users. The mean age of initiation of tobacco use was 14.7 (SD: 2.05) years. 78.3% were aware that the tobacco use is harmful. Most common reasons by ever users to start tobacco use included ‘friends’, ‘fun/enjoyment’ and ‘curiosity to try out tobacco products’. Awareness on ‘negative health impacts’ of tobacco use, ‘dislike for tobacco products’ and the ‘negative social implications’ of tobacco use were the major factors that influenced never users to remain abstinent from tobacco.
Conclusion Interventions should be designed to reduce tobacco use amongst the students. Such interventions should raise awareness on social and economical implications of tobacco use; equip students to overcome peer influence and provide help to quit tobacco use.