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Year : 2017  |  Volume : 54  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 584-588

Education differential in relation to tobacco use and its predictors across different regions of India

1 Department of Community Medicine, Government Medical College and Hospital, Chandigarh, India
2 School of Public Health, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, India
3 International Union against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease (The Union), New Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Deepak Sharma
Department of Community Medicine, Government Medical College and Hospital, Chandigarhw
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijc.IJC_345_17

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BACKGROUND: Tobacco use and education of an individual are linked to each other. Educated people are more likely to practice healthy behaviors and are aware of the harms of tobacco use. This paper uses the Global Adult Tobacco Survey data (GATS-India) to study the education differential associated with tobacco use and its predictors across India. METHODOLOGY: Secondary data analysis was conducted for GATS conducted in 2009–2010 in India. Data for “illiterate” and “literate” study subjects were analyzed according to study subject's “tobacco consumption pattern,” their “quitting behavior,” “exposure to second hand smoke (SHS)” and “observing health warnings on tobacco products.” RESULTS: Tobacco smokers and smokeless tobacco users were more likely to be illiterate (odds ratio [OR] for smoking tobacco = 1.2; for smokeless tobacco = 1.5) as compared to their counterparts. Significantly, more illiterate initiated smoking tobacco (OR = 1.1; 1.02–1.26) and smokeless tobacco habit (OR = 1.3; 1.21–1.44) before 17 years of age. Illiterate people were less likely to try quitting tobacco (smoking tobacco = OR = 0.8; 0.79–0.94; smokeless tobacco = OR = 0.7; 0.70–0.81) and also less likely to think of quitting tobacco in near future (smoking tobacco = OR = 0.6; 0.59–0.71; smokeless tobacco = OR = 0.6; 0.57–0.66). Illiterate people were more likely to be exposed to SHS at home (OR = 1.8; 1.7–1.9) and less likely to notice health warnings on cigarette packets (OR = 0.2; 0.26–0.28) and smokeless tobacco pouches (unadjusted OR = 0.5; 0.49–0.53). CONCLUSION: The results confirm that education differential exists for tobacco use and its determinants in India. It is recommended that all people of our country should have access to quality education. Policy makers should target uneducated people so as to reverse the tobacco epidemic.


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