Mohammad Hanif Memon, Ibrar Rafique, Ghulam Sarwar Qureshi.
Knowledge assessment about hazards of smokeless tobacco use in patients coming to a DHQ hospital.
Pak J Med Res Jan ;56(1):22-5.

Background: Smokeless tobacco use is not perceived as an addiction in most South East Asian countries therefore both men and women use it frequently. Objectives: To assess the knowledge of smokeless tobacco users about its hazards in District Head quarter hospital, Thatta. Study design, settings and duration: Descriptive cross-sectional study was conducted in District Head Quarter hospital, Thatta for 06 months duration. Subjects and Methods: The statistically calculated sample size was 325. Participants were enrolled using systematic random sampling technique. Written informed consent was taken and information related to demography and smokeless tobacco use was collected from the patients and their relatives on questionnaire. Data was entered and analyzed using SPSS. Results: There were a total of 325 respondents whose mean age was 34 years. Only 4% had higher school certificate or were graduates while 50% had no formal education. The mean age of initiation of Smokeless tobacco (SLT) was 19.3 years. The mean length of use of smokeless tobacco was 13.87 years. The mean number of Smokeless tobacco use was 5.0. Factors influencing SLT use were cultural acceptability, easy access, low price, peer influence and used as mouth freshener. Male respondents were 2.7 times more aware about the hazards of SLT as compared to females (p < 0.001). Nearly, one-in-three respondents reported trying to give up SLT use in the past. Conclusion: Cultural acceptability, low price and easy access of smokeless tobacco have led to high usage in under privileged uneducated population. Policy message: Tobacco cessation advising and warning should also be placed on smokeless tobacco products and health care providers should advise the smokeless tobacco users to quit it. Key words: Smokeless, tobacco, knowledge, hazards.

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