of Tobacco Consumption
among the Adolescents of the
Tribal Areas in Maharashtra
DHEKALE DILIP NARAYAN, GADEKAR RAMBHAU DHONDIBARAO, KOLHE CHARULATA GHANSHYAM
Dhekale Dilip Narayan,
Govt. quarter, “Anuradha Building”
Behind Mayadevi Nagar BSNL Office
Mahabal Road, Jalgaon-425001,
Background: Tobacco consumption is one of the major preventable causes of tobacco related cancer. In India, tobacco related cancer accounts for half the total cancer cases among males and 20% of the cancer cases among women. The prevalence of tobacco consumption among the tribal youths is high.
Aim: To know the prevalence and the pattern of tobacco consumption among the adolescents of tribal areas. Settings: Five tribal villages under the Primary Health Centre, Waradh, in the District Yavatmal, Maharashtra State, India.
Design: A community based cross sectional study.
Methods and Material: The study consisted of 502 adolescents of both the sexes. The data was collected on a predesigned proforma during the period from October 2009 to September 2010. After obtaining the consent of the subjects, the information which was related to their socio-demographic characteristics and tobacco consumption was collected. The statistical analysis was done by using the Chi square test and percentage.
Results: Overall, the prevalence of tobacco consumption among the adolescents of the tribal areas was 45.42%. 65.31% male and 26.46% female adolescents were habituated to it. All female, and majority of the male adolescents predominantly consumed a smokeless form of tobacco. Most of them (89%) started chewing tobacco / gutkha between 5-15 years of age. The females had started consuming tobacco at younger ages than the males. Social customs were the major influencing factor for the tobacco consumption, followed by peer pressure. The consumption of tobacco among the family members significantly (p<0.001) increased the tobacco use among the adolescents.
Conclusion: The prevalence of tobacco consumption was high in the tribal adolescents. Social customs, peer pressure and the consumption of tobacco by the family members were the major contributing factors which emphasized the need of strengthening the information, education and communication (IEC) activities.
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