Knowledge, attitude and practice regarding smoking in school going adolescents of Kashmir, India: a cross-sectional study
Keywords:Adolescents, Attitude, Knowledge, Schools, Tobacco
Background: Cigarette smoking, in the developed world, has been the major habit among children for both boys and girls. They usually take to the habit while in school before the age of 18. In India, tobacco consumption in multiple forms presents an emerging, significant and growing threat to the health of the adolescents. As per WHO Global Youth tobacco Survey GYTS (2009) India, 14.6% of students currently use any form of tobacco, 4.4%currently smoke cigarettes, 12.5% currently use some other form of tobacco. Objective was to assess the knowledge, attitude and practice of school going adolescents regarding smoking.
Methods: A descriptive cross sectional study was taken in school going adolescents of Kashmir. The study included three districts from Kashmir valley and from each district, 2 government middle schools (1 girls and 1 boys), 2 government high schools (1 girls and 1 boys), 2 government higher secondary schools (1 girls and 1 boys) were selected. Also from the list of private schools one middle school, one high school and one higher secondary school (All having co-education) were selected. Thus, a total of 27 schools, 9 from each selected district, were included in the study. A total of 1000 students participated in this study.
Results: The current study included 464 males (46.4%) and 536 (53.6%) females. Among the study subjects, 523 (52.30%) belonged to the 12-15 year age bracket and 477 (47.70%) were between 16-18 years of age. Maximum of study participants belonged to nuclear family (63.10%) followed by joint family (36.90%). Majority of the study subjects belonged to socio-economic class IV (lower middle) 36.10% followed by class III (middle) 23.90% as per Modified BG Prasad’s classification.
Conclusions: 75.9% opined that smoking tobacco is harmful to health in comparison to 89.1% of non-smokers, a difference found to be statistically highly significant (p value <0.001). Prevention of tobacco use in young people and the consumption of tobacco, among school students should be considered as a matter of great concern which requires holistic understanding.
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