As adolescent tobacco use has been found to be a major predictor of future use, preventive efforts need to be focused on this section of population.
To assess the role of knowledge regarding tobacco, risk-taking attitude, peers, and other influencers on tobacco and areca nut use, amongst adolescents.
Settings and design
A school-based cross-sectional study covering two schools. Students of classes IX and XI, of selected schools, participated in the study (n = 596).
A pretested and validated, close ended, self-administered questionnaire was used. Sociodemographic factors, awareness regarding tobacco, risk-taking attitudes, role of peers and other influencers, and tobacco, areca nut and alcohol use, were studied.
Point estimates, 98% Confidence Intervals, tests of significance, bivariate and multivariate analysis (multiple logistic regression).
Almost 42% of tobacco users started before the age of 12 years. Peer pressure, general stress, and media were important influencers. Logistic regression analysis showed that students in public school were using more tobacco [Odds ratio (OR) = 1.85, P = 0.174] and tobacco/areca nut (OR = 1.14, P = 0.02). The difference in use between the genders and class in which studying was statistically not significant. Lesser proportion of those possessing adequate knowledge regarding tobacco used it as compared to those without adequate knowledge (OR = 0.13, P < 0.001) however, possession of adequate knowledge was not a good predictor of areca nut consumption (OR = 0.86, P = 0.585). The most important correlate for tobacco use (OR = 6.41, P < 0.001) and areca nut use (OR = 11.17, P < 0.001) was risk-taking attitude.
Multi-pronged and concerted efforts targeting children at an early age are required to prevent tobacco and areca nut use among adolescents.