Prevalence and determinants of tobacco use in a remote rural area of South India: a community based cross sectional study

Gunasekaran Vinothkumar, Ganesan Girija, Mani Manikandan, Antony Vincent, Ariarathinam Newtonraj


Background: Tobacco use is a major public health problem in India. We intended to study the tobacco use and its risk factors from a rural area of South India.

Methods: This study was conducted in 2018, among twenty villages located around a rural health training centre, in South India.

Results: Total population surveyed was 14925. Among them 11995 individuals were in the age group of 15 years and above. In this group 739, 6% (5.7-6.6) of tobacco users, 423, 3.5% (3.2-3.9) of smokers and 369, 3% (2.8-3.4) of tobacco chewers were included in the study. Individuals belonging to lower caste were four to five times more likely to be a tobacco user. Tobacco use increases with age. Illiterates were 1.8 times more likely to be a tobacco user, married and Widows were two times more likely to be a tobacco user. Alcoholics were 13 times and hypertensive patients were 1.5 times, non-vegetarians were 1.4 times, individual preferring open defecation were 1.7 times more likely to be a tobacco user. Smoking was more associated with male gender, lower caste, increase in age, married individuals, alcoholics, hypertension and having semi-pucca house. Tobacco chewing was more associated with female, lower caste, increase in age illiteracy, married and widow, alcoholic, hypertension, non-vegetarian diet, open defecation, having kutcha or semi-pucca house.

Conclusions: Tobacco use in a remote rural area is high among the socially deprived community who are illiterate, belonging to lower caste and those who prefer open defecation.


India, Rural, Tobacco

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