Does level of physical activity influence tobacco use behaviour among youth? A cross-sectional survey from India
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PGIMER, School of Public Health, India
Publication date: 2018-03-01
Tob. Induc. Dis. 2018;16(Suppl 1):A401
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Tobacco use and physical inactivity are major risk factors for Non Communicable Diseases (NCDs). Adequate physical activities keep one healthy but sedentary life style may contribute to other unhealthy practices like indulging in tobacco use. There is a need to identify if and how the two risk factors are interrelated so as to address them more strategically. The present study was undertaken to assess the level of physical activity and to identify its association with tobacco use among college going youth in a jurisdiction of North India.

Data on physical activity and tobacco use was collected from 500 students aged 18-24 years studying in different professional and nonprofessional colleges of a Union Territory of Chandigarh, India through multistage simple random sampling using self-administered standardized questionnaires (Global Adult Tobacco Survey, Fagerstorm Addiction Scale, Global Physical Activity Questionnaire).

Around 12.8% (n=64) were physically inactive, 10% (n=50) were active and 76.2% (n=381) were highly active. Females (15.8%) were more inactive as compared to males (12.1%). Highly active respondents were seen more in 18-20 years age group (77.6%) as compared to 20-22 years age group (76.1%). The prevalence of tobacco use was 20.2%. It was observed that odds of consuming tobacco was significantly lower in physically active respondents as compared to inactive respondents (p value < 0.05). Further, higher odds of smoking was observed among younger age groups, females and non-professionals as compared to their counterparts.

NCDs are emerging as a big threat among youth. Our findings indicate a significant relationship between physical activity and tobacco use among youth thus underscoring the need of promoting physical activity among youth to curb tobacco use. Regular physical activity and counselling sessions for discouraging tobacco use should be integrated with academic curriculum so as to achieve Goal-3 of Sustainable Development Goals.

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