Tobacco and betel nut use among school going adolescents of government high school of Himmatnagar city, Gujarat, India: a cross sectional study


  • Nisha Prajapati Department of Paediatrics, GMERS Medical College, Himmatnagar, Gujarat, India
  • Chintu C. Chaudhari Department of Paediatrics, GMERS Medical College, Valsad, Gujarat, India
  • Grishma T. Dixit Department of Community Medicine, B.J. Medical College, Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India
  • Rajendra Gadhavi Deputy Director and State Epidemiologist, Gujarat State AIDS Control Society (GSACS), Government of Gujarat, India
  • Avirat A. Bhatt Consultant for Children with Severe Acute Malnutrition, CDN Section, UNICEF, Gujarat, India
  • Nilesh Thakor Department of Community Medicine, GMERS Medical College, Gandhinagar, Gujarat, India



Age at initiation, Adolescent, Betel nut, Prevalence, Substance abuse, Tobacco


Background: Adolescence period is very crucial in the life of an individual, when major physical, psychological and behavioral changes take place. Tobacco and areca nut use among school going adolescent is becoming a major public health problem. The aim was to determine the prevalence and pattern of smokeless tobacco and betel nut use among school going adolescents.

Methods: The study was a cross sectional study. After taking the permission of principal of Government high school and consent of the parents of adolescents, 546 adolescents were interviewed during February-March 2016. A self-administered questionnaire was used for data collection. Thus collected data was analyzed using SPSS 17 (Trial Version).

Results: Age of the study students (total 546) ranged from 10-19 years. (Mean age=14.60 ± 2.84 years). Out of 546 children 166 (30.4%) children had addiction. Prevalence of any type of addiction in girls and boys was 13.4% and 17.0% respectively. Tobacco prevalence was 12.3% and betel nut prevalence was 18.1%. Type of addiction and its association with gender was highly significant. All children addicted to tobacco using chewing form (gutkha) of tobacco. The mean age group of children who consume tobacco and betel nut was 16.14±1.33 years and 16.13±1.51 years respectively. Most common reasons among adolescents for starting addiction of tobacco and betel nut was to look mature (88.0%) followed by to look good (73.5%) and to refresh breathe (56.0%).

Conclusions: High prevalence of tobacco and betel nut use among adolescents needs attention of parents, teachers and health officials.


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