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Year : 2016  |  Volume : 53  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 322-324

Smokeless tobacco use and perceptions of risk among students in Mumbai municipal schools

Department of Research, Salaam Bombay Foundation, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

Correspondence Address:
M L Rose
Department of Research, Salaam Bombay Foundation, Mumbai, Maharashtra
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0019-509X.197720

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Introduction: Nearly 15% of youth in India use tobacco. However, few studies have explored the use, knowledge, and attitudes of smokeless tobacco use among youth. AIM: To determine the patterns of use as well as knowledge and perceptions of smokeless tobacco among youth in Mumbai attending municipal schools. Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional survey was performed among 1053 students in the 8th and 9th grades in 16 municipal schools in Mumbai to determine the knowledge and perceptions about smokeless tobacco products as well as the patterns of use. Results and Conclusions: Ever use of smokeless tobacco was reported by 47 (4.7%) students in the survey. Twenty-nine (2.9%) students reported ever using smoked tobacco. Students were more likely to identify cigarettes and bidis as tobacco products compared to smokeless tobacco products such as gutkha, mishri, and khaini. Betel nut products were used by 178 (17.9%) students. The high rate of smokeless tobacco and betel nut use coupled with low levels of knowledge about their contents and harms suggests that tobacco control programs targeting youth should ensure that these products are adequately explained and understood by students.


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