Physical and psychological health problems associated with tobacco consumption among professional drivers in India
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Dayanand Medical College and Hospital, Department of Community Medicine, India
Dayanand Medical College and Hospital, India
Publication date: 2018-03-01
Tob. Induc. Dis. 2018;16(Suppl 1):A288
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Tobacco use is a global health issue and a leading preventable cause of morbidity and mortality. More than 25 diseases are known or strongly suspected because of tobacco use. Individuals with lower level of education and low socio economic status are found to have higher consumption of tobacco as compared to other job titles. Therefore the present study was planned to assess tobacco related physical and psychological health problems of professional drivers.

A descriptive research design was used to collect the data. A total of 521 professional drivers were contacted in Ludhiana district of India, of which 331 agreed to participate. Besides socio demographic profile, the data pertaining to duration of driving, history of illness, age of starting tobacco, duration of tobacco regularly used, form of tobacco, tobacco dependence, etc. were collected. The information was collected on structured questionnaire and Kessler scale was used to assess the psychological distress. The data was statistically analyzed by using SPSS 20.0 version.

Out of 331 professional drivers, 201( 60.7%) were regularly consuming tobacco. 41.5% were in the age of 31-40 years; 51.5% educated upto secondary level; 81.5% married and 60.5% residing in urban area. Majority (79.8%) of subjects who consume tobacco reported various types of physical health problems - 25.8% had respiratory; 33.7% cardiovascular; 23.0% gastrointestinal and 8.5% urinary problems. Only 0.66% reported lung cancer. 36.5% had medium while 63.5% low psychological distress. There was significant positive correlation (p=0.001) between level of dependence and psychological distress. Almost half (49.5%) of the drivers wanted to quit while the other half refused to quit due to various reasons like taking tobacco is not harmful (27.5%); impossible to quit (16%) and to remain active (6.5%).

Professional drivers consuming tobacco are found to suffer from various physical and psychological health problems. Their health need to be assessed regularly for improving their quality of life.