Pattern of Smokeless Tobacco Initiation and Use among School Going Adolescents in Delhi, India: A Mixed Method Study

Document Type : Research Articles


1 Maulana Azad Medical College, Department of Community Medicine, New Delhi, India.

2 National Institute of Health & Family Welfare, Program Advisory Committee, New Delhi, India.


Introduction: With growing trends in tobacco consumption, it has been observed that the age of initiation is gradually decreasing. To combat the deep-rooted problem of the Society, we need to target the adolescents at the time of their first consumption of tobacco forms. Hence, this study was conducted to assess the pattern of smokeless tobacco use among school going adolescents in senior secondary schools with the assessment of the sociodemographic factors responsible for initiation of smokeless tobacco use by adolescents. Methods: A cross-sectional survey of total sample of 714 students across 9-11 standards in 3 schools of Delhi was done using a self-administered questionnaire after obtaining approval from Institutional Ethics Committee and School Health Scheme, Delhi. Result: Consumption of tobacco was found to be 27.9% at a frequency of 6-9 days in a period of one month and a majority of 31 (39.2%) students initiated the use in the age group of 10-11 years. Among the different SLT products, pan masala combined with zarda with 56 (70.8%) users, was found to be the most commonly consumed SLT product. Grocery shops were preferred POS among the students as (67%) of students obtained the SLT product from this POS. 56 (70.8%) of the students wanted to quit the habit of SLT use whereas 49 (62%) students tried to quit the habit and 43 (54.4%) students sought help in order to quit the habit. Discussion: Such alarming results in terms of low age of initiation in Delhi is an emerging health problem. Adequate cessation programmes and schemes must be developed and strict implementation of laws and policies to achieve a tobacco free youth is the need of hour.


Main Subjects

Volume 24, Issue 9
September 2023
Pages 3187-3193
  • Receive Date: 09 May 2023
  • Revise Date: 18 July 2023
  • Accept Date: 10 September 2023
  • First Publish Date: 10 September 2023