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The 13th World Conference on Tobacco OR Health
Building capacity for a tobacco-free world
July 12-15, 2006, Washington, DC, USA
Objective: Early onset of Tobacco-use is an important risk factor for cancer and other chronic diseases. By the time the risk to health is recognized, the addicted individual finds it difficult to stop tobacco's use. In India, 2/3rd of smokers begin this habit at young age. Therefore, the following Study was undertaken :- To study the prevalence of Tobacco-use patterns (smoke & smokeless) and awareness of tobacco related health hazards among college students of Delhi.
Methods: 18-25 years-old students were randomly selected from colleges in different zones of Delhi. Information was collected using pre-designed questionnaires and data was analyzed using EPI-info.
Results: Out of 2400 subjects, 39% males and 8% females were using tobacco products. Among male users, 47% were using smokeless tobacco (Gutka etc.) 30% using cigarettes, 18% using both. 25% started tobacco through friends or family, 30% after watching advertisements or films, 35% believed that it improves concentration and gives pleasure. 53% were unaware of after-effects of prolonged smoking (cancer etc.). A majority of (72%) of the study group were ignorant of health hazards of passive smoking. 65% students were ignorant of prevailing laws for tobacco control. Thus, statutory warning on tobacco products is not enough. Use of oral tobacco is more prevalent so it needs to be further emphasized that smokeless tobacco is equally dangerous. Different strategies and awareness programs involving family and friends are required. Main focus be on education about active and passive smoking causing slow death to the user and his/her loved ones.