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Prevalence and perceptions about tobacco use among migrant construction workers: A community-based cross-sectional survey

Rajeshkannan S, Parthiban P.


Background: Construction sector is a booming industry with many hazardous activities. The prevalence of tobacco use among construction workers is very high because of their working patterns and lack of recreational activities.

Objectives: The objectives of the study were to assess the prevalence of tobacco use and ascertain the factors influencing it among migrant construction workers.

Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional community-based study was done on 300 construction workers in old Mahabalipuram road of Chennai selected by multistage random sampling from 100 construction units. They were assessed using the Global Adult Tobacco Survey India individual questionnaire. Epi-info-8 and SPSS-21 software was used for analysis.

Results: The prevalence of current tobacco use either in the form of tobacco smoke or smokeless tobacco was 51%. The prevalence of smokeless tobacco use was 33.7% while for tobacco smoke use, it was 29%. The proportion of participants reporting alcohol consumption was 55.7%. Only 24% were free from substance use. 95.3% believed that smoking causes a major illness, whereas only 89.7% had similar kind of belief about smokeless tobacco. The majority (80.7%) were exposed to the ill effects of smoking and quit tobacco messages, but only 38.7% of those had thought about quitting tobacco.

Conclusions: Tobacco use is an important public health problem, especially in developing countries like India and workers in the construction industry have a very higher prevalence. Specific intervention programs are warranted to reduce the burden of tobacco use related morbidity among these workers.

Key words: Tobacco Use; Migrants; Construction Workers; Global Adult Tobacco Survey; Smokeless Tobacco

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