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 REVIEW ARTICLE
Year : 2012  |  Volume : 49  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 342-346

Prevalence of smokeless tobacco use among adults in WHO South-East Asia


1 World Health Organization, Regional Office for South-East Asia, New Delhi, India
2 Healis Sekhsaria Institute of Public Health, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

Correspondence Address:
D N Sinha
World Health Organization, Regional Office for South-East Asia, New Delhi
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0019-509X.107726

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Smokeless tobacco (SLT) use is an understudied problem in South-East Asia. Information on SLT use among the adult population was collected from various available sources. SLT use prevalence varies among countries in the region. The prevalence of SLT use is known for all countries at national level in the region with the exception of Bhutan and DPR Korea. For Bhutan, data pertains to Thimphu only. There is no available data on SLT use for DPR Korea. Using all available data from Bhutan, India, Myanmar, Nepal, and Sri Lanka, SLT use was found to be higher among males as compared to females; however, in Bangladesh, Indonesia, and Thailand, SLT use was higher among females as compared to males. Among males, prevalence of SLT use varied from 51.4% in Myanmar to 1.1% in Thailand. Among females, the prevalence of SLT use varied from 27.9% in Bangladesh to 1.9% in Timor-Leste. The prevalence also varies in different parts of countries. For instance, the prevalence of current use of SLT in India ranges from 48.7% in Bihar to 4.5% in Himachal Pradesh. In Thailand, prevalence of current use of tobacco use varies from 0.8% in Bangkok to over 4% in the northern (4.1%) and northeastern (4.7%) region. Among all SLT products, betel quid was the most commonly used product in most countries including Bangladesh (24.3%) and Thailand (1.8%). However, Khaini (11.6%) chewing was practiced most commonly in India. Nearly 5% of the adult population used tobacco as dentifrice in Bangladesh and India. SLT is more commonly used in rural areas and among disadvantaged groups. Questions from standard "Tobacco Questions for Surveys (TQS)" need to be integrated in routine health system surveys in respective countries to obtain standardized tobacco use data at regular intervals that will help in providing trends of SLT use in countries.






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