Determinants of Tobacco Use among Children of a Rural Village in India: An Exploratory Qualitative Study

Document Type : Research Articles


1 Department of Home Science, University of Rajasthan, Rajathan, India.

2 Department of Public Health Dentistry, Associate Professor, RR Dental College, Udaipur, Rajasthan, India.

3 Deparment of Preventive and Social Medicine, S.N Medical College, Jodhpur, Rajathan, India.

4 Department of Public Health Dentistry, Sharad Pawar Dental College, Dmims (Deemed to be University), Wardha, Maharashtra, India.

5 Department of Pedodontics and Preventive Dentistry, MM College of Dental Sciences and Research, MM (Deemed to be University), Mullana, Haryana, India.


Background: Tobacco is one of the leading causes of preventable deaths. It is both a major social and health problem. According to National Sample Survey Organization of Government of India about 20 million children of ages 10-14 are estimated to be tobacco-addicted. There are grave consequences of tobacco both socially and also on health thus it is of utmost importance to understand the factors leading to its use and to plan strategies to reduce its intake. However, the health implications of this social issue in a rural context have not been explored. Aims and Objective: this study makes an attempt to explore the health and social implications of tobacco usage by the children below the age of 14 years in hamlet. Materials and Methods:  The present study employed a qualitative study design. Data was collected using focus group discussion and in-depth interview of key informants. Thematic analysis for exploring the explicit and implicit meanings within the data was done. The themes which emerged were knowledge about tobacco and the various products available, children and parents’ tobacco use and habits, the health and social implication of tobacco use, reasons for tobacco use by the children. Results: It was found tobacco use by the children was very common in the community. Parent, peer pressure, sibling pressure were found to be playing important role in the initiation of tobacco habit by the child. Further illiteracy and lack of awareness was also lead to tobacco use among children. Conclusion: The study identifies education and awareness of parents about the ill-effects of tobacco play an important role as parents act as role model for their children, thus equal stress should be laid in improving the parental habits. Even raising the prices of tobacco products can help in controlling this habit.


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