Aim: The study was aimed to find out the prevalence of tobacco use and to assess the perception of young tribal adolescent toward tobacco use in a tribal area of Hamalkasa, Gadchiroli, Maharashtra, India.
Materials and methods: A cross-sectional study design was carried out at four schools located at different villages of Hemalkasa, Gadchiroli, Maharashtra, India. Total of 1872 school children of 10–17 years of age was included in this study. Perception of tobacco use was recorded by a modified global youth tobacco survey questionnaire which was translated in a local language. Statistical analysis was performed by using statistical package for the social sciences (SPSS), version 11.5 and Chi-square test was used to analyze the significant difference.
Results: Out of 1872 tribal adolescent screened, 856 (45.7%) were tobacco consumer among them 544 (29.1%) were male and 312 (16.7%), female tobacco users. Mean age of starting tobacco use was 6.07 ± 1.47 years and the majority of tobacco consumers 679 (79.3%) were using smokeless tobacco while 139 (15.4%) were current smokers. Among tobacco users, 704 (82.2%) admit the use of tobacco by their family members and 260 (30.4%) reported the reason for starting tobacco use was peer pressure.
Conclusion: It can be concluded that the prevalence of tobacco use among tribal adolescent was exceptionally high. Overall, the study provides valuable information for future community-based studies on tobacco use in tribal area.
Clinical significance: The exploratory finding provides valuable input into current tobacco usage among the tribal adolescent and potential reasons for adopting the use of tobacco at an early age. The study finding can be used as baseline data for the planning and implementation of a tobacco cessation program among tribal adolescent.
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