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Original Research

An epidemiological study on tobacco use in urban Shimoga, Karnataka

Kanchana Nagendra, Mangala Belur, Nandini C.


Background: Tobacco is commonly smoked or chewed or inhaled. Smoking is a leading cause of many non-communicable diseases (NCDs) as well as has significant adverse effects on pregnancy. About 1.3 billion people worldwide smoke, and the number of smokers continues to rise. More than 40% of the world’s smokers live in just two countries, i.e. China and India. India only has around 10% of world’s smokers.

Objectives: To assess the prevalence of use of different forms of tobacco in urban population of Shimoga.

Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted in urban Shimoga study was conducted during February 1, 2016, to July 30, 2016, for 6 months. Data were collected from household members aged 15-64 years. The calculated sample size was 2000. Participants were interviewed using a pre-structured and pre-tested questionnaire adapted from the WHO Steps I and II, approaches for NCDs risk factors surveillance, after modifying to suit the local requirements (questions about tobacco use were considered for the study).

Results: The prevalence of current smoking in the free-living population of urban city was 15.3%; among them, almost all subjects were daily smokers (prevalence - 15.2%). The prevalence of daily smoking habit was 30.1% among male users. The study revealed that 17.7% of the subjects were current oral tobacco users, while a few were former chewers (0.4%).

Conclusion: This community based study demonstrated high prevalence of tobacco use among productive population of urban Shimoga.

Key words: Smoking; Tobacco Use; Non-communicable Diseases; Risk Factors

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