Use of tobacco and related health problems among urban homeless women
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International Institute for Population Sciences (IIPS), India
Publication date: 2018-03-01
Tob. Induc. Dis. 2018;16(Suppl 1):A927
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Smoking tobacco doubles the risk of suffering from tuberculosis. A large proportion of world's population with tuberculosis and tobacco users are from India. No study is available on use of tobacco and prevalence of TB among the homeless women in urban India. This study attempts to understand the pattern of tobacco use and its linkages to suffering from TB among the homeless women living in New Delhi, India.

Primary data was collected among the homeless women above 15 years in New Delhi city to understand the risky behaviour and prevalence of TB. The data was collected during July-December 2015. A total of 300 homeless women were interviewed on various issues like causes of homelessness, living condition, substance use and related health issues. Frequency tables, chi-square test and logistic regression are used to full fill the objectives.

Of 300 homeless women, 59% (176) women are engaged in use of smokeless and smoking tobacco, and almost all are the daily users. The study found that 7.4% among tobacco users are suffering from tuberculosis compared to 1.6% among those tobacco non-users. The chi-square test shows differences are statistical significant. Similarly, the tobacco users are suffering from tobacco related health issues such as rupture of cheeks, oral infection and staining of teeth. About 13%, 10% and 26% of tobacco users are suffering from rupture of cheeks, oral infection and staining of teeth compared to 3%, 3% and 6% among tobacco non users respectively. With reference to tobacco non-users, adjusting for other socio-economic, living in shelter or non-shelter and years of homelessness, the odds of suffering from tuberculosis is 5.66 [95% CI:2.9-10.0, p=< 0.01] among the tobacco users.

The present study indicates urgent need of raising awareness of tobacco related health issues.