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Tobacco Promotion and Availability in School Neighborhoods in India: a Cross-sectional Study of their Impact on Adolescent Tobacco Use

  • Patel, Deepa ;
  • Kassim, Saba ;
  • Croucher, Ray
  • Published : 2012.08.31

Abstract

Background: Adolescent tobacco use is a major public health problem. However, there is little information about the impact of tobacco advertising and availability near schools on adolescent tobacco use in India. Methods: The various tobacco products and brands available in outlets within 100 meters of two high schools in an Indian town were identified. A stratified random sample of 172 participants from these two schools completed a questionnaire on tobacco use and socioeconomic status. Results: Eighteen outlets selling tobacco products were identified. In the two schools the current use of smoked and smokeless tobacco was 9.1% and 17.4% respectively. School location and low socio-economic status of adolescents were associated with tobacco awareness of advertisements (p=0.001) and the receipt of a free sample (p= 0.032). Advertisements on billboards, posters and the receipt of a free tobacco sample were significant factors (p=0.031, p=0.016, p=0.017 respectively) in current tobacco use. Conclusion: In this study a significant proportion of adolescents used tobacco. Tobacco-promotion activities (advertising, the receipt of a free sample), school location and economic status were found to be associated with adolescent tobacco initiation. The local environment should be included in the prevention of adolescent tobacco initiation.

Keywords

Tobacco;adolescent;availability;schools;neighborhoods

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