Background & objectives
Smoking is the largest avoidable cause of chronic lung diseases. In India, tobacco consumption is increasing, particularly among the rapidly growing young adult population. Preventing the uptake and perpetuation of smoking is therefore crucial to reducing the future burden of chronic lung disease.
This project aims to identify the main determinants of smoking uptake among adolescents in India. We will survey a population of 45,000 students in school grades 6-8 in Udupi region, ascertaining current and susceptibility to future tobacco use; and exposure to determinants including tobacco affordability and ease of access, tobacco imagery in films and music videos and in retail displays, health warnings, anti-tobacco media campaigns, smoke-free homes and schools, and potential confounders (including age, gender, family and peer smoking, self-esteem, rebelliousness, academic grades).
One year later we will re-survey the cohort, now in grades 7-9, to estimate prospectively the independent effects and attributable risks of these exposures on smoking susceptibility and uptake. We will then carry out qualitative studies of perceived appropriate policy responses to our findings among national and regional policymakers, and local groups including police, community leaders, tobacco vendors, teachers, parents and adolescents.
John Britton, University of Nottingham, United Kingdom
- Medical Research Council, United Kingdom