Prevalence and correlates of tobacco use among school going adolescents in a rural area of Himachal Pradesh, India
Sumit Chawla1, Bharti Mehta*2, Nidhish Bhardwaj3, Ajay Kumar Singh4, Satish Kumar Aggarwal5
1,2Assistant Professor, 5Professor; Department of Community Medicine, Maharishi Markandeshwar Medical College & Hospital, Solan, Himachal Pradesh, India
3Final Year MBBS student, Maharishi Markandeshwar Medical College & Hospital, Solan, Himachal Pradesh, India
4Public Health Specialist, Department of Health and Family Welfare, Solan, Himachal Pradesh, India
Background: Tobacco use usually starts in adolescence and continues into adult life, meaning that many future victims of tobacco use are today’s children. To counteract the effect various tobacco control strategies in India, as in the rest of the developing world, there is an urgent need for good, scientifically sound data about tobacco use patterns that would allow cross-country and within-country comparisons. This study was conducted to find out the prevalence & correlates of tobacco use among school going adolescents in a rural area of Himachal Pradesh, India
Methodology: This was a cross sectional study from 4 co-educational schools of district Solan , Himachal Pradesh. There were 200 students enrolled for the study. The ethics committee clearance was taken from IEC. Appropriate statistical tests were applied.
Results: The prevalence of current and ever tobacco use among school going adolescents in our present study was found out to be 4.5% and 2.0% respectively. Class wise ever tobacco users were more in classes 9th (6.6%) and 10th (5.7). Gender wise males had higher prevalence of current tobacco use (8.1%) than females (1.1%), which was statistically significant (p =0.024).
Conclusion: The present study suggests the need for school-based tobacco prevention programs. It is better to prevent the initiation of the habit than trying to stop the habit, highlighting the role of primordial prevention. Enforcement of regulations on sale of tobacco products may also be useful.
Keywords: Tobacco, Adolescents, Prevalence, Correlates