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J Community Health. 2019 Jun;44(3):479-486. doi: 10.1007/s10900-019-00649-2.

Prevalence and Correlates of Cultural Smokeless Tobacco Products among South Asian Americans in New York City.

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Department of Medicine, Division of Geriatic Medicine and Palliative Care, NYU School of Medicine, New York, NY, USA.
Center for Drug Use and HIV/HCV Research, NYU College of Global Health, New York, NY, USA.
Department of Population Health, NYU School of Medicine, New York, NY, USA.
Department of Population Health, NYU School of Medicine, New York, NY, USA.
VA New York Harbor Healthcare System, New York, NY, USA.


Despite the high prevalence of smokeless tobacco (SLT) use in South Asia, little is known about the use of cultural smokeless tobacco among South Asians in the United States (US). This study examines the prevalence and correlates of SLT products among South Asians living in New York City (NYC). A total of 602 South Asians living in NYC completed a community health needs and resource assessment and answered questions about the use of SLT. Multivariable logistic regression models were run to examine predictors of SLT use (ever and current use). A total of 28.2% South Asian individuals reported ever use of SLT (35.9% among men and 21.5% among women) and a total of 12.9% reported current use of SLT (16.5% among men and 9.7% among women). Logistic regression models were stratified by sex. Among men, factors associated with ever or current use included: Bangladeshi and Himalayan ethnic subgroup, speaking English very well, attending a religious service a few times a year (ever use only), and current or former cigarette smoking. Among women, factors associated with ever use included: Bangladeshi ethnic subgroup, self-reporting condition of mouth and teeth as fair/poor, and at risk for depression. No factors were significant among women for current use. Overall, prevalence of current and ever use of SLT is high, and important differences exist by sex. Future studies are needed to better understand SLT use patterns in South Asian communities in the US and to inform culturally relevant interventions aiming to decrease overall tobacco use.


Asian Americans; Community health; Community-based participatory research; Smokeless tobacco

[Available on 2020-06-01]

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