Tobacco use among adolescents and role of school in influencing this habit
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Institute of Liver and Biliary Sciences, Delhi, India
Department of Epidemiology, National Institute of Health and Family Welfare, Delhi, India
Publication date: 2021-09-02
Corresponding author
Ashwini Kedar   

Institute of Liver and Biliary Sciences, 11/3, Old Rajinder Nagar, Delhi 110060, India
Tob. Induc. Dis. 2021;19(Suppl 1):A254
Tobacco use is an important behavioural risk factor which can be recognised and modified at young age. School plays important role in imparting knowledge and shaping the behaviours and practices among children. This study focuses on the school related factors that may be influencing tobacco use among adolescents.

To assess the role of school on tobacco use among adolescents aged 13-15 years old.

This study was conducted among adolescents aged 13-15 years studying in class eighth to tenth from two central government schools of Delhi, India. Self-administered questionnaires were used to collect data from 438 students. Observation was used to assess school related factors. Informed consent was taken from students and their parents.

Among participants, 30 were ever tobacco users and 25 were current tobacco users. Majority (17) ever tobacco users started using tobacco at 11 years or less. Tobacco use among family members, friends was an important predictor forever and current tobacco use. More than half of ever tobacco users (56.67%) stated purchase of bidis/cigarettes or smokeless tobacco from tobacco vendors near school. Health education at school had strong protective effect for current tobacco use (OR=0.26). Feeling stressed at school (OR=3.12) and physical activity at school (OR=4.01) were important determinants for current tobacco use. Both schools were not following COTPA (Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products) guidelines. There were no signboards indicating tobacco free zone either outside or inside the school. Tobacco selling shops were present within 100 yards of school and were selling tobacco products to adolescents.

Greater emphasis on health education activities at school may help to decrease tobacco use among children. COTPA rules should be implemented stringently in all schools. Schools should have provision of counsellors and facilities to promote physical activity. Schools have greatly impact on young minds and help in decreasing tobacco use.