Smokeless tobacco, associated risk factors and women health: the study of garment workers in urban Mumbai, India
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International Institute for Population Sciences (IIPS), Public Health and Mortality Studies, India
Publication date: 2018-03-01
Tob. Induc. Dis. 2018;16(Suppl 1):A525
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India is one of the world's largest producers and consumers of tobacco. Smoking is rare among Indian women, but research shows that Indian women's use of smokeless tobacco products is increasing, with negative consequences on reproductive health. In India, smokeless tobacco consumption is highest in the labor classes and among those from a low socioeconomic status, less educated or illiterate, and the poor and marginalized groups. This workers lack proper knowledge and risk associated with the use of smokeless tobacco. These women consume cheap tobaccos that have negative impact on both their general and reproductive health. Therefore, there is need to understand the pattern of tobacco use, age of initiation of habit, reason for initiation, frequency of consumption in a vulnerable population, i.e. garment worker

Mixed method approach has chosen. A sample of 150 female garment workers were chosen in Mumbai partly by random and partly by snowball sampling. Ten in-depth interviews conducted using interview guideline. Bivariate analysis carried out on quantitative data.

Total 150 adolescent girls and women garment worker were included in the study. The average age of the participant is about 23.04 years with SD ±2 years. No women in our study reported smoking cigarettes. The estimated prevalence of SLT use in this population of urban, low-income, married women is high. Of these, more than one third reported use of more than one SLT daily. Women reported the use of five main types of smokeless tobacco: pan with tobacco, mishri, gutkha, chewed tobacco.

It is clear from the study that tobacco consumption is highly prevalent among garment workers. Immediate intervention programs warranted to reduce the future burden of tobacco use-related morbidity among these workers who are exposed to the high pollution levels in garment factories.