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Year : 2014  |  Volume : 51  |  Issue : 5  |  Page : 50-53

Levels and trends of smokeless tobacco use among youth in countries of the World Health Organization South-East Asia Region

1 World Health Organization, Regional Office for South-East Asia New Delhi, India
2 Global Tobacco Control, Office on Smoking and Health, Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia, USA
3 National Health Education, Information Communication Center, Ministry of Health and Population, Government of Nepal, Kathmandu, Nepal
4 Ministry of Health and Nutrition, Colombo, Sri Lanka
5 Ministry of Education, Republic of Maldives, Myanmar
6 Ministry of Health, Government of Myanmar, Myanmar
7 Ministry of Health, Government of Bhutan, Bhutan
8 National Centre for Control of Rheumatic Fever and Heart Disease, Dhaka, Bangladesh

Correspondence Address:
D N Sinha
World Health Organization, 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.147472

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Background: At least two rounds of the Global Youth Tobacco Survey (GYTS) have been completed in most of the countries in the World Health Organization South-East Asia region. Comparing findings from these two rounds provides trend data on smokeless tobacco (SLT) use for the first time. Methods: This study uses GYTS data from Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Indonesia, Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Timor-Leste during 2006-2013. GYTS is a nationally representative survey of 13-15-year-old students using a consistent and standard protocol. Current SLT use is defined as using any kind of SLT products, such as chewing betel quid or nonbetel quid or snuffing any other products orally or through the nasal route, during the 30 days preceding the survey. Prevalence and 95% confidence intervals were computed using SAS/SUDAAN software. Results: According to most recent GYTS data available in each country, the prevalence of current use of SLT among youth varied from 5.7% in Thailand to 23.2% in Bhutan; among boys, from 7.1% in Bangladesh to 27.2% in Bhutan; and among girls, from 3.7% in Bangladesh to 19.8% in Bhutan. Prevalence of SLT was reported significantly higher among boys than girls in Bhutan (boys 27.2%; girls 19.8%), India (boys 11.1%; girls 6.0%), Maldives (boys 9.2%; girls 2.9%), Myanmar (boys 15.2%; girls 4.0%), and Sri Lanka (boys 13.0%; girls 4.1%). Prevalence of current SLT use increased in Bhutan from 9.4% in 2009 to 23.2% in 2013, and in Nepal from 6.1% in 2007 to 16.2% in 2011. Conclusion: The findings call for countries to implement corrective measures through strengthened policy and enforcement.


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