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Indian J Dent Res. 2012 Jan-Feb;23(1):31-8. doi: 10.4103/0970-9290.99034.

Prevalence and correlates of tobacco use among urban adult men in India: a comparison of slum dwellers vs non-slum dwellers.

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  • 1Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology, Ragas Dental College and Hospital, Chennai, India.



Tobacco use is reported to be rampant in urban slums in developing countries. Demographical variations in tobacco use between males living in urban slums vs those living in non-slum areas in India has not been reported, and this study was undertaken to address this issue.


Secondary data analysis of National Family Health Survey-3 (NFHS-3) was undertaken to study demographical variations in tobacco use between urban slum dwellers and non-slum dwellers in eight Indian cities. Demographic determinants for use of smoking and chewing forms of tobacco in the two groups were analyzed. SPSS version 16.0 (SPSS Inc., IL, USA) was used for statistical analysis.


The study population comprised 6887 (41.8%) males from slum areas and 9588 (58.2%) from non-slum areas of eight urban cities. Cigarette/beedi smoking was the commonest form of tobacco use among the study population. Pan masala use was the least common form of smokeless tobacco use, next only to snuff. There was a high statistical significance observed within the various demographic parameter studied in both the slum and non-slum dwelling males in study population. However, on studying the differences between the two groups, it was observed that statistical significance of P≤.001 was observed with age (15-49), secondary education, religion, household structure and marital status. The difference between the two groups in the mean number of cigarettes/beedis smoked was not statistically significant (P=.598).


Male slum dwellers are a distinct urban population, whose health needs assessment requires a different approach than that for non-slum dwellers who often can afford the services that an urban Indian city can offer.

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