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RESEARCH
Year : 2013  |  Volume : 3  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 35-41

Evaluation of attitude, behavior, knowledge, and smoking rates among youngsters from Southern India: a survey-based study from Andhra Pradesh


1 Department of Pharmacy Practice and Pharm D, St. Peter's Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Kakatiya University, Warangal, Andhra Pradesh, India
2 Department of Pharmacy Management, Manipal College of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Manipal University, Manipal, Karnataka, India
3 Department of Pharmacy Practice and Pharm D, St. Peter's Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Kakatiya University, Warangal, Andhra Pradesh; Department of Pharmacy Management, Manipal College of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Manipal University, Manipal, Karnataka, India

Correspondence Address:
Uday Venkat Mateti
Department of Pharmacy Practice and Pharm D, St. Peter's Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Kakatiya University, Warangal, Andhra Pradesh; Department of Pharmacy Management, Manipal College of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Manipal University, Manipal, Karnataka
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/2230-7095.136491

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Introduction: India accounts for 274.9 million global tobacco users and approximately 120 million tobacco smokers. It is predicted that tobacco deaths in India may exceed 1.5 million annually by 2020. Considering the hazardous impact of smoking upon the health of an individual, we conducted this investigation to evaluate the magnitude of this increasingly distressing public health concern among youngsters enrolled in university courses at various educational institutes in the state of Andhra Pradesh, India. Methodology: A cross-sectional questionnaire based study was conducted among youngsters at various educational institutions in Andhra Pradesh, India. The structured questionnaire was developed to assess the number of youngsters habituated to smoking and to know their attitude, knowledge, and behavioral responses toward smoking tobacco. Results: A total of 4394 responses were collected from Andhra Pradesh. The mean age of the respondents was 20.4 ± 2.9 years and 67.6% were males. The overall smoking rate was found to be 41.03%. Of the total respondents, 1254 (28.5%) were enrolled in pre-university course, whereas graduates and postgraduates constituted 2348 (53.4%) and 792 (18.0%), respectively. A majority of smokers (72.6%) and nonsmokers (91.6%) stated that people adapt to smoking as a fashionable trend, while only a meager (12.1%) respondents thought stress as a stimulant to resort to smoking habits. 44.9% respondents felt smoking cigarettes in a group increased interaction among their peers; 81.1% confessed to initiation of smoking during their teenage years; About 66.8% admitted to smoking up to 5 cigarettes/day, while 76.2% were aware of the fact nicotine in cigarettes causes addiction. Of the suggested measures to quit smoking, 64.9% of the respondents recommended prohibition of smoking at public places, 66.1% advised cigarettes to be made expensive, 87.2% sought counseling by a physician or a pharmacist as a valuable resource to help youngsters curb their smoking habits and 77.1% thought the use of e-cigarettes could be a potential alternative measure to avoid tobacco smoking. Conclusion: A high percentage of youngsters admitting to smoking cigarettes as demonstrated from our survey highlights a poor indicator of national health status. Perhaps, it also reflects a failure of state government policies aimed to prevent tobacco use. The need to formulate stringent policies to guide youngsters to understand the deleterious effects of tobacco, including but not limited to, advertisements, banners, setting up of de-addiction and counseling centers, national wide campaign and broadcasting should be done.


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