Perceptions regarding tobacco control strategies amongst female youth in Delhi, India – a qualitative study

12 Oct 2021
Swati Jain, Vikrant Mohanty, Shipra Arora, Shekhar Grover, Mohit Kumar, Neha Singh

Tobacco-related cancer is one of the commonest causes of cancer-related mortality in low- and middle-income countries. As per Global Youth Tobacco Survey-4, India; nearly one-fifth of students aged 13–15 used any form of the tobacco product. Tobacco related challenges have been countered through various tobacco control strategies; however, ignorance and non-compliance to tobacco control strategies to combat the tobacco epidemic shield the tobacco industry in India as well. There is limited literature on perception of tobacco use and tobacco control strategies amongst female youth. Hence, the present study aimed to assess tobacco control perception and perceived challenges through a qualitative approach amongst the youth of Delhi, India. Thematic analysis design of qualitative research was used amongst students of the Senior Secondary (Class XII) at a Government School of Delhi. One-to-one in-depth interviews were carried out for 6–7 individual participants in a day depending upon their availability. A summative content analysis was conducted of all the responses obtained by a data coder who was blinded to the identity of the respondent. A total of 82 school children participated in the study. The majority (82.9%, N = 68) of the participants felt that ‘Tobacco is dangerous to health’ and 41.5% (N = 34) of the participants were aware of some of the existing tobacco control laws in the country. Around 53.7% (N = 44) of the study respondents considered existing tobacco related laws to be ineffective. Regarding the perceived challenges; 31.7% (N = 26) of the respondents considered the lack of strict tobacco control laws and punishment strategies as the main factors. The findings from this study substantiated the focus on school based tobacco control strategies. The participants were well appraised regarding the impending danger of tobacco use and dynamic involvement of youth in tobacco control policies is the need of the hour.

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