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Indian J Public Health. 2004 Jul-Sep;48(3):147-52.

Tobacco use among school students in Goa, India.

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Healis-Sekhsaria Institute of Public Health, Navi Mumbai.


Information about prevalence of tobacco use was assessed among school children in Goa, India. Among 50 sampled schools, the school response rate was 98% and, over 94% students participated in the survey (56% were boys, 44% girls). Ever tobacco use was reported by 13.5% of which over 40% reported initiation at 10 years of age or earlier. The current tobacco use (any product) was reported by 4.5%, without much difference in smokeless tobacco use (2.8%) and smoking (3.0%). Smokeless tobacco was use mainly in the form of applying mishri, tobacco containing toothpaste or toothpowder. Smoking among boys was 3.5% and girls 2.2%. Non-users reported knowledge about the harmful effect of tobacco two to three times more than tobacco users. Over about 50% of students reported having been taught in school about the dangers of tobacco use. Tobacco users (60.5%) as well as non-users (63%) favoured ban smoking in public places equally. Tobacco use by parents and close friends was positively associated with students' current tobacco use.

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