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Glob Health Promot. 2013 Dec;20(4 Suppl):82-9. doi: 10.1177/1757975913501209.

A comparative study of perceptions on tobacco in vulnerable populations between India and France.

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1.Institut régional du Cancer de Montpellier, Montpellier, France.


Perceptions of tobacco are a relatively unexplored issue in disadvantaged populations in India and France. The objectives of this study included the following: obtain qualitative information on representations of tobacco use and cessation within two vulnerable populations; identify cultural factors that influence tobacco use and cessation; and acquire information for the development of effective tobacco cessation strategies. A total of 21 focus groups were conducted in India and France. All study participants were disadvantaged adults 18 years old or older. Sixty women resided in South Delhi in India and 163 adults with disabilities resided in the south of France. They were all current tobacco users. Data were collected by focus group and analysed with thematic coding. In both samples, the most relevant reasons of tobacco use were daily life circumstances, which were also a major barrier to quitting. None of the participants reported that quitting difficulties could be due to dependence or nicotine addiction. The data also suggested that whilst some participants wanted to stop, they also anticipated quitting would be extremely challenging. In addition, there were a number of cross-cultural differences between Indian and French disadvantaged people: level of information concerning the health risk related to tobacco use and level of demand for support to quit from health professionals were most often cited. Recommendations are made for a specific approach among disadvantaged people. The paper concludes that in order to facilitate cessation, tobacco control interventions need to focus on coping strategies to deal with feelings of distress, withdrawal symptoms, and the circumstances of everyday life experienced by disadvantaged tobacco users.


comparative study; perception; qualitative study; smokeless tobacco; tobacco; tobacco cessation; vulnerable population

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