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Asian Pac J Cancer Prev. 2014;15(1):413-7.

Prisoners' perception of tobacco use and cessation in Chhatisgarh, India--the truth from behind the bars.

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  • 1Department of Public Health Dentistry, K.L.E. Institute of Dental Sciences, Bengaluru, Bhilai, Chhattisgarh, India E-mail :



Prisoners represent a population group that is disadvantaged, socially deprived and underprivileged, needing particular attention with regard to provision of necessary oral health care, health promotion and motivation and tobacco cessation. Considering the situation in prisons, smoking and tobacco chewing are burning issues related to health deterioration and economic loss that seem to be overlooked by the public health sectors.


To assess prisoners' perception of tobacco use and cessation in Chhatisgarh, India.


A pre-tested, close ended questionnaire was administered in the form of extensive face to face interviews, to assess perceptions regarding tobacco use and cessation in the central jail of Durg District of Chhattisgarh state, India.


Prevalence of tobacco usage amongst the prisoners was found to be 61%. Some 27% reported smoking, 44% used tobacco in the chewable form and 29% indulged in consuming tobacco in both forms i.e. smoked as well as chewed. Results suggest several recommendations for policy relevance such as provision of a prison dentist, a tobacco cessation counseling program and targeted eradication of oral cancer by educating the prisoners.


Health is a fundamental human "right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental well-being". This applies to prisoners just as it does to every other human being. The alarming findings in the study suggest the need for dental treatment facilities and tobacco cessation counseling in prisons.

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