Tobacco use among urban slum dwellers attending a cancer screening clinic in the National Capital Region of India: a cross-sectional study

11 May 2021
Suzanne T Nethan, Dhirendra N Sinha, Ashwini Kedar, Vipin Kumar, Shashi Sharma, Roopa Hariprasad, Ravi Mehrotra

Background: Tobacco consumption in India varies based on the place of residence (urban/rural). Minimal, exclusive information exists regarding the same for ‘urban slum’ dwellers. The current study determines the tobacco use pattern among such individuals in Noida, Uttar Pradesh (India).

Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted among the urban slum residents visiting the institutional clinic between December 2016 and June 2019. Apart from tobacco history, routine recording of the basic demographic details and oral visual examination was carried out for the participants. For categorical data, the percentage of different parameters was calculated and for quantitative data, descriptive statistics were calculated. Chi-square or Fisher’s exact tests were employed to determine the association between the two categorical variables. To find the strength of association between tobacco use and the socio-demographic factors, univariate and multivariable binary logistic regression was used.

Results: Among 2,043 urban slum respondents (602 male, 1441 female), 15.0% (n = 308) currently consumed tobacco. The majority were smokeless tobacco (SLT) users (among both males and females). Among males, khaini (42.1%) and gutkha (32.5%) and among females gul (36.1%) were the most widely used tobacco products.

Conclusion: The majority of the Noida urban slum population attending the screening clinic consumed SLT. Gender variation in the tobacco form and product-specific consumption patterns indicates that the undertaking of urban slums-specific surveys is essential. Tobacco control programmes must incorporate appropriate strategies addressing such subgroups of tobacco users.