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October 2021

J R Soc Health. 1997 Dec; 117(6): 359-65.

A baseline study of tobacco use among the staff of Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh, India.

Yunus M, Khan Z.

Dept. of Community Medicine, J N Medical College, Aligarh Muslim University, India.

A cross-sectional study of 2,439 university employees and research scholars was carried out using the questionnaire method. The objective was to assess the prevalence and type of tobacco usage and to collect background data for planning health education programmes. The overall prevalence of tobacco usage was 51.5% among males and 30.3% among females. There were no female smokers, the preferred habit of tobacco usage among women being chewing. The prevalence of smoking among non-teaching staff members was significantly higher. Among females, the prevalence of tobacco chewers was higher in non-teaching staff members. Tobacco usage (both smoking and usage of other forms) rose with age. However, even at 20-30 years of age 25.4% of males were addicted to smoking. A majority of 60.6% had smoked for more than 10 years. Among the staff members (both teaching and non-teaching) the reason for smoking was either to relax or because of addiction, whereas the research scholars smoked to improve their image or for enjoyment/pleasure. The reasons given by users of other forms of tobacco were boredom, to pass the time or for no reason at all. Among non-users, the majority were aware of the harmful effects of smoking. Family pressure and traditions were also important reasons for not smoking. The study provides a clear picture of tobacco usage within the University.

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