Women and Tobacco Use: Discrepancy in the Knowledge, Belief and Behavior towards Tobacco Consumption among Urban and Rural Women in Chhattisgarh, Central India


Background: Tobacco consumption has become pandemic, and is estimated to have killed 100 million peoplein the 20th century worldwide. Some 700,000 out of 5.4 million deaths due to tobacco use were from India. Theera of global modernization has led to an increase in the involvement of women in tobacco consumption in thelow income and middle-income countries. Tobacco consumption by females is known to have grave consequences.
Objectives: To assess: (1) the tobacco use among urban and rural women; (2) the discrepancy in the knowledge,belief and behavior towards tobacco consumption among urban and rural women in Durg-Bhilai Metropolitan,Chhattisgarh, Central India. Materials and
Methods: The study population consisted of 2,000 18-25 year oldyoung women from Durg-Bhilai Metropolitan, Chhattisgarh, Central India, from both urban and rural areas.Data were collected using a pretested, anonymous, extensive face to face interview by a female investigator toassess the tobacco use among women and the discrepancy in the knowledge, belief and behavior towards tobaccoconsumption among urban and rural individuals.
Results: The prevalence of tobacco use was found to be 47.2%.Tobacco consumption among rural women was 54.4% and in urban women was 40%. The majority of the womenfrom urban areas (62.8%) were smokers whilst rural women (77.4%) showed preponderance toward smokelesstobacco use. Urban women had a better knowledge and attitude towards harms from tobacco and its use thanthe rural women. Women in rural areas had higher odds (1.335) of developing tobacco habit than the urbanwomen.
Conclusions: Increased tobacco use by women poses very severe hazards to their health, maternal andchild health, and their family health and economic well-being. Due to the remarkably complex Indian pictureof female tobacco use, an immediate and compulsory implementation of tobacco control policies laid down byt he WHO FCTC is the need of the hour.