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SHORT REPORT
Year : 2016  |  Volume : 29  |  Issue : 5  |  Page : 274-276

Is tobacco use increasing among medical students of Bengaluru city, India? Evidence from two cross-sectional studies


Division of Epidemiology and Population Health, St John's Medical College and Research Institute, 100 Feet Road, Koramangala, Bengaluru 560034, Karnataka, India

Correspondence Address:
Prem K Mony
Division of Epidemiology and Population Health, St John's Medical College and Research Institute, 100 Feet Road, Koramangala, Bengaluru 560034, Karnataka
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


PMID: 28098081

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Background. Studies investigating secular changes in tobacco use are rare in India. We estimated self-reported prevalence of tobacco use, across a 5-year interval, among medical students in Bengaluru, India. Methods. We did two cross-sectional studies during 2007 and 2013 among third year undergraduate medical students of four medical colleges in Bengaluru. A self-administered questionnaire was used to elicit information on tobacco smoking and chewing. Results. The participation rates were 82% (323/395) in 2007 and 78% (253/324) in 2013 (p=0.2). Among males, there was no statistically significant change in prevalence of current smoking (3.5% [6/172] in 2007 to 8.9% [12/135] in 2013 [p=0.053]); experimental use of tobacco had however increased from 24% (41/172) in 2007 to 42% (56/135) in 2013 (p=0.001). Similarly among females, experimental use was reported by 3.3% (5/151) in 2007 and 11.2% (13/116) in 2013 (p=0.01). Current smoking among female students was <1 % in both the study years. Reported current chewing levels remained unchanged among males, 1.8% (2/171) and 3.7% (5/135) (p=0.2) and fell from 4% (6/146) in 2007 to 0% in 2013 among females (p=0.04). Conclusion. There was no increase in current smoking or chewing of tobacco but there was an increase in experimental smoking among male and female medical students in this southern Indian city. Schools and colleges must include tobacco control education in their curriculum.


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