Objectives The objectives of the present study were to study the pattern of tobacco use among rural adolescents (15–19 years) and to find out reasons for use and non use of tobacco products in rural central India.
Material and Methods In the present community based research, triangulation of qualitative (free list, focus group discussions) and quantitative methods (survey) was undertaken. The findings of qualitative assessment and the Global Youth Tobacco Survey (GYTS) questionnaire were used for development of locally relevant questionnaire. Assuming the rough estimate of rural adolescents' proportion, for knowledge and practices of study variables as 0.5, 95% CI and 5% precision, the minimum sample size required was 384 which was inflated by 10% to cover non-response. A team of trained medical personnel interviewed 385 adolescents (92% response rate) by paying home visits. After survey, six focus group discussions were undertaken with adolescent boys to bridge gaps in information and develop a conceptual framework of pro-tobacco influences.
Results About 68.3% boys and 12.4% girls had consumed any tobacco products in last 30 days. Among boys, 51.2% consumed it due to peer pressure, 35.2% consumed tobacco as they felt better, and 5% consumed tobacco to ease abdominal complaints and dental problem. The reasons for non use of tobacco among girls were fear of cancer (59%) and poor oral health (37.9%).
Conclusions The current consumption of any tobacco products among rural adolescents was found very high with multiple pro-tobacco influences. It requires policy level intervention to tackle the problem.
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