Dare or dream: helping young people of Delhi slums to stop using tobacco
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Independent Consultant, Research, India
Publication date: 2018-03-01
Tob. Induc. Dis. 2018;16(Suppl 1):A966
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Tobacco consumption is a risk factor for various diseases and leads to the highest number of avoidable deaths worldwide. India is home to the most adolescents in the world. Out of these, 60-80% live in low resource settings. The onset of tobacco use occurs in adolescence and Youth of lower socio-economic status use tobacco at rates twice as high as youth of higher socio-economic status. There is a need for low-cost, community-based interventions for socio-economically disadvantaged young people living in urban slums in India.

A quasi-experimental study design with two measurements at baseline and 6 months post-intervention to investigate an intervention in 10-15-year-olds. The intervention programme consists of five 60-min community based interactive modules and control groups. The study questionnaire measuring cigarette smoking and consumers, smoking-related cognitions, and gender, social and cultural aspects was designed and pre-tested in advance. The primary end point was the prevalence of smokers and consumers in the two study arms at 6 months after the intervention. The percentage of smokers and consumers in the two groups was studied.

All study participants used tobacco related products, out of which 41.2% indulged in smoking alone. Availability, cost, family and peer influence plays a central role in initiating tobacco use. The primary reasons for tobacco initiation and maintenance were identified as social influence, stress, boredom and misconception that tobacco is good for health. 63% of the study participants successful stopped using tobacco along with significant reduction in frequency or quantity of tobacco observed in all the study participants. The barriers to quitting were identified as stress, violence and abuse.

Young people living in urban slum are vulnerable to variety of risks including use of tobacco. Helping them learning and practicing life skills can better prepare them staying away from risks related to use of tobacco.

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