Prevalence and pattern of tobacco-use among Muslims of Manipur: a cross-sectional study

Author : Singh KB, Tomba Y, Avinash K

Introduction: Tobacco consumption is a major global public health problem. One person dies every six seconds due to the health related effects caused by tobacco. The effects of tobacco and its related diseases are heaviest in low and middle-income countries including India. To frame local-specific policies and strategies to reduce this social menace, it is always important to know accurately about its magnitude and its associated background characteristics. Data regarding this is scarcely available for the Muslim community of Manipur. Objectives: (i) To determine the prevalence of tobacco-use among adults aged 18 years and above residing in Kshetrigao, a Muslim-inhabited area in Imphal East District of Manipur and (ii) To study the pattern and background characteristics of tobacco-use in the same community. Materials and methods: A cross-sectional study was taken up in the Kshetrigao area of Imphal East District, Manipur. The area had 13 villages mostly dominated by Muslims. Adults aged 18 years and above were the study subjects. The sample size calculated was 272 and multistage sampling method was used to get this sample. Data regarding tobacco-use and its associated background characteristics were collected by a team of trained personnel during Nov 2015 by using a pre-tested, semi-structured questionnaire. Ethical approval for the study was obtained from the IEC, JNIMS. Data collected were analysed by using both descriptive and analytical statistics. Results: Completed data sets were collected from 308 eligible subjects. The prevalence of ever-users of tobacco and current users of tobacco were found to be 73.38% and 69.16% respectively. The mean age of starting tobacco-use was 23.8 years (SD10.8) within the minimum age as 12 years. Zarda paans were the commonest form of tobacco used (74%). The mean number of zarda paans consumed was 3.63 with the maximum as high as 30 per day. Peer pressure was the main factor (41.3%) for initiation of tobacco-use. Higher educational status, marriage and age were the significant factors associated with tobacco-use. The rate of tobacco-use was comparable among the males and females. Discussion: The prevalence of tobacco-use was higher than previous study findings done in other parts of the country. Zarda paans being the principal form of tobacco products used in the study area may be because of easy availability and local preference. The present study finding of tobacco-use rate being higher among married persons and older age group was comparable with studies done in other parts of the country. Conclusion: The high rate of tobacco-use among the Muslims among which tobacco-use is regarded as a social taboo poses a sinister warning.

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