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Year : 2012  |  Volume : 49  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 347-351

Smokeless tobacco use in Myanmar

1 WHO Regional Office for South-East Asia, New Delhi, India
2 Ministry of Health, Union of the Republic of Myanmar

Correspondence Address:
N N Kyaing
WHO Regional Office for South-East Asia, New Delhi
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0019-509X.107727

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Smokeless tobacco (SLT) use in various forms is highly prevalent in Myanmar. The aim of this paper is to study the socio-cultural background of SLT use and products of SLT in Myanmar and the prevalence of SLT based on surveys and from other published data bases. Information was obtained from the literature review and through search on PubMed and Google. The use of SLT is deep rooted in Myanmar culture, and there is also wide-spread belief that it is not as dangerous as smoking. SLT use is growing in Myanmar. About 9.8% of the 13-15-year-old school children and 20.8% adults use SLT; it is many-fold higher among men. The use of SLT is prevalent using many different types of tobacco and forms of its use in Myanmar. The socio-cultural acceptance and the myths were compounded by the lack of specific SLT control component in the National Tobacco Control Legislation adopted needs to be addressed as a priority through intensified community awareness programs, public education programs, and advocacy campaigns. Effective enforcement of the law and amendment to include specific components of SLT in the provisions of the law is highly recommended. The prevalence of SLT is high among school children and adults (especially in men) in Myanmar. Betel quid and tobacco is a common form of SLT use. Although control of smoking and consumption of tobacco product law exists, its implementation is weak.


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