Youth and tobacco use

Publication year: 2009

Publication type: Conference presentation – Poster

Conference: 14th World Conference on Tobacco OR Health

Citation: Bhojani U, Chander SJ, Devadasan N. Tobacco use and related factors among South-Indian metropolis. 14th World Conference on Tobacco OR Health, Mumbai, March 2009.

Abstract: Tobacco use imposes a huge disease burden in India. Most studies on tobacco issues amongst the Indian students have focused on secondary school students (grades:8th-10th) 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 (grades:11th-12th) in a south-Indian metropolis. A cross sectional study was conducted among 300 male students of a Pre-University College in Bangalore City. 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. 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. Among the ever users, 93.6% had smoked, 4.3% had chewed and 2.1% used both the forms of tobacco. 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. Interventions particularly focusing to raise awareness on social and economical implications of tobacco use and to equip students to overcome peer influence should be designed to reduce tobacco use amongst this category of students.