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Year : 2011  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 74-80

Prevalence and pattern of tobacco use among tribal adolescents: Are tobacco prevention messages reaching the tribal people in India?

1 Department of Community Medicine, J N Medical College, DMIMSU, Wardha, India
2 Department of Internal Medicine, J N Medical College, DMIMSU, Wardha, India
3 Department of Physiology, J N Medical College, DMIMSU, Wardha, India
4 Public Health Education, Public Health Foundation of India, New Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
Abhay Gaidhane
Department of Community Medicine, J N Medical College, DMIMSU, Wardha
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1755-6783.85756

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Objectives: The objective of the study was to find the prevalence and pattern of tobacco use, exposure to tobacco prevention activity among adolescent from tribal area. Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted in six tribal villages. Data was collected by interview from 240 adolescent by home visits. Results: Prevalence of tobacco use (all forms), smokeless tobacco use and smoking in tribal adolescents were 54.45%, 53.41%, and 23.14%, respectively. Prevalence of tobacco use in boys (66.25%; 95% Confidence Interval (CI) = 60.29-72.21) was more than girls (26%; 95% CI = 25.84-37.57). Prevalence of tobacco use was more in late adolescent period and earning adolescents. The average age of starting smokeless tobacco use and smoking was 13.75 years (SD 2.26) and 14.22 years (SD 2.54), respectively. Boys start smoking relatively earlier than girls (P = 0.04). Education shows significant protective effect on tobacco use. Bidi was commonly used for smoking, while pan masala and gutka were the preferred smokeless tobacco. Almost all smokers were also using smokeless tobacco. Around 69% adolescents from the tribal area have heard of the tobacco prevention message, but only three could interpret it correctly. Radio and television were the commonest modes of information. Conclusion: Considering the high prevalence of tobacco use among tribal adolescents, anti-tobacco activities need to scale up for tribal people, with more emphasis on behavior change through group or personal approach. School programs may have some limitation in tribal area due to high school dropout, and low enrolment. Prevention activities need more focus on smokeless tobacco use and bidi smoking.

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