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Year : 2014  |  Volume : 1  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 176-179

Tobacco use among teenagers in Ludhiana, Punjab, India: A survey of initiation, prevalence, knowledge, and attitude

Department of Public Health Dentistry, Christian Dental College, Ludhiana, Punjab, India

Correspondence Address:
Ansu Elizabeth Saji
Department of Public Health Dentistry, Christian Dental College, Ludhiana - 141 001, Punjab
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Source of Support: Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2348-3334.138890

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Introduction: Tobacco use among school going children is becoming a serious public health issue in developing countries like India. According to the study conducted by S.K. Jindal in 2004, in the northern states of India, prevalence of tobacco use was lowest in Punjab because smoking is strongly against the Sikh tenets. However, a recognizable change in trends has been observed recently. Aim: To determine the prevalence of tobacco use, the age of initiation, factors leading to initiation, and the knowledge about the health hazards caused by tobacco use among adolescents in the city of Ludhiana, Punjab. Materials and Methods: A cross sectional study was conducted among 400 adolescents between the ages of 13 to 19 years in Ludhiana using a self-administered questionnaire. Result: In all, 12.75% of the students were found to be tobacco users. The age of initiation was around 15 years. Majority of the students were initiated into this habit by friends or by immediate family members. In total, 78.64% of the students reported to be aware of the harmful effects of tobacco use. Conclusion: This study demonstrated a relatively high prevalence of tobacco use among adolescents in Ludhiana, Punjab. Peer pressure was the main factor in the initiation of this habit. Strict laws need to be passed and interventions designed to reduce the use of tobacco among adolescents.

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