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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 17  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 157-162

Factors influencing the prevalence of tobacco use among high schoolchildren: A pilot study

1 Department of Public Health Dentistry, V. S. Dental College and Hospital, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India
2 Department of Community Medicine, St. Johns Medical College and Hospital, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India
3 Department of Public Health Dentistry, Syamala Reddy Dental College Hospital and Research Centre, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India
4 Department of Public Health Dentistry, College of Dentistry and Applied Health Sciences, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Correspondence Address:
Dr. G Radha
Department of Public Health Dentistry, V. S. Dental College and Hospital, Bengaluru, Karnataka
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jiaphd.jiaphd_102_18

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Background: The health risks of tobacco use are well known, but kids and teens continue to smoke and use tobacco. Many young people pick up tobacco habits every year; in fact, 90% of all adult smokers began smoking started when they were kids. Aims: The aim of this study was to estimate factors influencing the prevalence of tobacco use among 13–15-year-old high schoolchildren and to assess their knowledge, attitude, and behavior regarding tobacco use. Material and Methods: This pilot study was conducted among 210 schoolchildren selected from three schools based on convenient sampling method. The modified version of Global Youth Tobacco Questionnaire (World Health Organization) was used to measure the knowledge, attitude, and tobacco use of children. The analysis was carried out using the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences software version 17. Descriptive statistics were used for the analysis of the study variables. Chi-square and Fisher's exact tests were applied to test the association of knowledge of and attitude toward factors influencing tobacco use. The level of significance was set at 5%. Results: Of the 210 children participated in the study, 54.8% were boys and 45.2% were girls. Ever tobacco use was reported by 31.4% of children, of which, over 10% reported initiation around 8–10 years of age and 21% of them at 12–15 years of age. Among them, 32 (15.2%) children used the smoking form of tobacco (cigarette, beedi, and other unspecified forms), 27 (12.9%) used the chewing form of tobacco, and 7 (3.3%) participants used both forms. The association was found to be statistically significant with regard to the knowledge (P = 0.03) and attitude scores (P < 0.001). Conclusion: It was found that tobacco use by parents, siblings, and teachers influences the children to initiate tobacco. Knowledge about the harmful effects of tobacco use among children was poor.

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