Factors Associated with Tobacco Use in Female Subjects: A Study from Eastern India LC28-LC33
Dr. Rudrajit Paul,
Associate Professor, Department of Medicine, Midnapore Medical College, Midnapore-721101, West Bengal, India.
Introduction: Tobacco use among females is a rising public health problem. This is especially true in developing countries of South-east Asia. Certain factors like illiteracy, poverty and changing social norms are associated with this rising trend. There is very little data on the factors associated with tobacco use among females in India.
Aim: To document the pattern of tobacco use and also, some of the socioeconomic and demographic factors linked to tobacco use in females in Eastern India.
Materials and Methods: This was a hospital-based survey, done simultaneously in an urban and a rural hospital. A total of 155 adult female patients who were consuming tobacco (either smoking or smokeless) were included in the study after proper screening and interviewed. The pre-tested and validated structured questionnaire was used to collect socioeconomic and demographic information, information on tobacco use pattern and also tobacco use in the family. Then, the relative distribution of these various variables in female tobacco users was analysed.
Results: Authors had a total of 155 subjects (female tobacco users) in the study and the mean age was 27.6±7.3 years. An 80% of the subjects belonged to some tribal group. A 57% were completely illiterate and >60% were home-makers. Only 20% were smokers and the rest used Smokeless Tobacco (SLT). Of the different forms of SLT, Khaini was the most popular (36.8%) followed by Zarda (31%). A 27% of the subjects used two forms of tobacco simultaneously. A 72% of the subjects had their partners using tobacco and 39% had their mothers using tobacco.
Conclusion: Smokeless tobacco was much more common than smoking in female tobacco users. Factors associated with female tobacco use were illiteracy, poverty and familial tobacco use. Simultaneous use of more than one form of tobacco was present in around one-third. When tobacco control programs are devised for the females, stress should be placed on controlling smokeless tobacco. Also, the program must especially reach out to the illiterate and economically disadvantaged females.