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BioMed Research International
Volume 2016 (2016), Article ID 5856740, 9 pages
Research Article

Sociodemographic Correlates of Tobacco Consumption in Rural Gujarat, India

Department of Social & Behavioral Sciences, Robert C. Byrd Health Sciences Center, School of Public Health, West Virginia University, 3313A, Morgantown, WV 26506-9190, USA

Received 9 December 2015; Revised 17 February 2016; Accepted 7 March 2016

Academic Editor: Mangesh S. Pednekar

Copyright © 2016 Payal Kahar et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. The purpose of this study was to examine occupation-, education-, and gender-specific patterns of tobacco use and knowledge of its health effects among 23,953 rural Asian Indians ≥18 years in Gujarat. Methodology. A statewide, community-based, cross-sectional survey was conducted in 26 districts of Gujarat (December 2010–May 2015), using face-to-face interviews by trained community health workers called SEVAKS. Results. Mean age was 39.8 ± 15.2 years. Eighteen percent of respondents used tobacco in various forms. Tobacco consumption was significantly higher among males (32%), 18–34 years’ age group (35%), those who were self-employed (72%), and those with elementary education (40%). The prevalence was 11 times higher among males than females (95% CI = 9.78, 13.13). Adjusted ORs for tobacco use showed strong gradient by age and educational level; consumption was lower among the illiterates and higher for older participants (≥55 years). Tobacco consumption also varied by occupation; that is, those who were self-employed and employed for wages were more likely to use tobacco than those who were unemployed. Knowledge of health effects of tobacco lowered the odds of consumption by 30–40%. Conclusions. Effective educational programs should be tailored by gender, to improve knowledge of health risks and dispel myths on perceived benefits of tobacco.