Prevalence, knowledge, and attitude towards smokeless tobacco use in adolescents of selected colleges at Dakshina Kannada District, Karnataka, India
Background: Tobacco use is associated with addiction. Teenagers using smokeless tobacco are at a higher risk of physical and mental health problems.
Aim: To find the prevalence, knowledge, knowledge on practice and attitude towards hazards of smokeless tobacco use in adolescents.
Methods: Cross-sectional descriptive survey design was used. Two thousand one hundred twenty-three adolescents were recruited using multistage cluster sampling from 40 P.U colleges selected randomly & disproportionate stratified random sampling. A pretested and validated self-administered questionnaire was used with the reliability of 0.85 and 0.83, respectively. SPSS 23 was used for analysis.
Results: 7% of adolescents used smokeless tobacco. About knowledge of the practice of smokeless tobacco, 83% reported as a healthy practice, 13% as risky and 3.9% as unhealthy practice. About knowledge of smokeless tobacco use and its effects, 1% of adolescents had excellent knowledge, 61.7% had good knowledge, 36% had satisfactory knowledge, and 1.5% had poor knowledge. 53.4% of adolescents had a favourable attitude towards smokeless tobacco use.
Conclusions: There is a need to strengthen the health care system to generate awareness, to enable early detection, and to implement strategies to prevent tobacco addiction among adolescents.