The study, titled “Prevalence of Tobacco Consumption in School Going Adolescent Boys in Urban Slum of Mumbai”, was conducted by Doctors of R N Cooper Hospital. A total of 183 students from Class VIII to Class X, with a mean age of 15 years, participated in the study. Its report said one of every sixth child in Mumbai had been consuming tobacco. More prevalence of tobacco use was found in those whose father had had higher education.
In the study, the prevalence of use of tobacco was 17.5 per cent. Overall, smokeless tobacco use was higher than the type smoked. Gutkha was the most common form of tobacco used, followed by cigarettes, khaini, beedi and masheri. In the study, it was observed that 6.6per cent among the tobacco-takers were regular users and 6 per cent occasional users. As many as 2.2per cent had been past users and 2.5 per cent were experimental users.
There was an increase in prevalence of tobacco use with increase in age up to 15 years. Nearly 45 per cent of the respondents who smoked bought tobacco themselves, followed by 35 per cent who got tobacco from friends and 20 per cent who took it from their parents or siblings.
The report says that many social, economic and political factors have contributed to the global spread of tobacco consumption. “The fast changing social milieus, social sanctions and other factors are mainly contributing to this proliferation and has posed serious challenge to individuals, families, societies and nations. Tobacco use is a major worldwide public health problem,” the study says.