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Year : 2017  |  Volume : 26  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 128-133

Psychology of tobacco use: Are anti-tobacco policies encouraging the use of smokeless tobacco? A cross-sectional study in an industrial township

Department of Community Medicine, Dr. DY Patil Medical College, Hospital and Research Centre, Dr. DY Patil Vidyapeeth, Pune, Maharashtra, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Amitav Banerjee
Department of Community Medicine, Dr. DY Patil Medical College, Hospital and Research Centre, Dr. DY Patil Vidyapeeth, Pune - 411 018, Maharashtra
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ipj.ipj_70_17

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Background: Anti-tobacco policies are focused on curbing smoking. Less attention is given to the use of smokeless tobacco use. This raises the concern whether these policies lead to increased use of smokeless tobacco use. The present study addresses this issue. Materials and Methods: A stratified random sample of 399 participants over 18 years and both genders were part of this cross-sectional study. They included an interview of urban and rural residents by house-to-house survey including outpatients, inpatients, and college students. Information was collected by face-to-face interview on a standard instrument for recording tobacco use. Additional questions were added to elicit switch from smoking to smokeless forms of tobacco. In-depth interviews were also held with some tobacco vendors. Statistical Analysis: Data were summarized in percentages and with mean and standard deviation. Chi-square and two sample t-tests were used to explore associations. Results: Prevalence of smokeless tobacco use was 36.59% (95% confidence interval: 31.97%–41.41%). Smokeless tobacco use was highest in rural community at 60.20% compared to urban community in which it was 40%. Unskilled workers had the highest prevalence of smokeless tobacco use at 48.57% compared to lowest prevalence among professionals (12.50%). Years of schooling was inversely related to both smoking and smokeless tobacco use. Prevalence of smoking at 20.55% was much less than use of smokeless tobacco use. Awareness of adverse health effects and ban in public places were the main reasons for quitting smoking. About 10% of those who quitted smoking took smokeless tobacco. Conclusion: There was a tendency among tobacco users to switch over to smokeless tobacco use due to awareness of health effects and ban on smoking in public places. A much higher prevalence of smokeless tobacco use compared to smoking suggests that the problem of smokeless tobacco use is receiving less attention from policymakers vis-à -vis smoking control policies.

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