Prevalence and correlates of tobacco use among Indian students and their knowledge of, attitudes towards, and perceptions about tobacco use
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Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research, Pondicherry, India
Publication date: 2021-09-02
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Namita Patel   

Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research, Pondicherry, India
Tob. Induc. Dis. 2021;19(Suppl 1):A264
In India, sales and advertisements of cigarettes and other tobacco products in an area within 100 yards of the educational institution is prohibited, there are few data offering the estimates of tobacco use among students in India.

We did a secondary data analysis of nationally representative sample of individuals from the Global Adult Tobacco Survey in India (2016-17), which covered 74037 adult individuals, of which, 6134 (8.3%) were students. Participants were asked about sociodemographics details followed by use of any form of tobacco product (smoking, smokeless and both) during the previous 30 days. Students\' knowledge of, attitudes towards, and perceptions of tobacco use were also assessed. Descriptive statistics and logistic regression models were adopted as analytical tools.

Overall prevalence of current tobacco use among students was 4.1 % (95% CI 3.3%-4.9%). Prevalence of current smoking and smokeless tobacco were 1.5% (95% CI 1.0%-2.0%) and 3% (95% CI 2.4%-3.8%) respectively. Among current tobacco uses, 2.8% (95% CI 1.5%-4.9%) were moderately or heavily addicted to it. Tobacco use was significantly higher among males [relative risk ratio (RRR)=3.2, 95% CI 2.5-3.9], rural population (RRR=1.2, 95% CI 1-1.5), the Christians (RRR=7.1, 95% CI 3.4-14.8), married (RRR=1.9, 95% CI 1.4-2.6), and individuals living in north eastern region (RRR=15.5, 95% CI 8.7-27.4) of India. Among current users, 6.8% (95% CI 3.8%-11.8%) were not aware about the addictive nature of tobacco. Lack of knowledge about the selected hazards of tobacco significantly affects tobacco use.

Prevalence of current tobacco use is 4% and every tenth male student is currently using it. Lack of knowledge is one of the predictors of tobacco use. Targeted interventions at the individual and community level for tobacco cessation, along with policy measures to improve the knowledge amongst students, are required.