Center for Health Policy, Planning and Management
School of Health Systems Studies
Background: India has a high burden of tobacco usage and its related morbidity and mortality. Almost 30% of the Indian population above 15 years of age use some form of tobacco. Men usually use smoked tobacco, while women are more likely to use smokeless (chewed) tobacco. Tobacco usage has been identified as a risk factor for non-communicable diseases (NCDs) among slum dwellers in urban cities. This study explored the tobacco consumption patterns and its determinants in an urban slum community of New Mumbai. Methods: This was a cross-sectional descriptive study. Study methods included review of secondary literature and policy documents on tobacco control. Primary data was collected from the Turbhe slum community in New Mumbai using semi-structured interview schedules. Cluster sampling followed by simple random sampling technique was used to achieve the sample size of 300 households. Results: The prevalence of tobacco consumption in Turbhe slums was very high. 25% of tobacco consumers initiated tobacco use before 18 years of age. Peer pressure emerged as a major factor for initiation of tobacco consumption. Smokeless tobacco was the predominant form of tobacco consumed. Though television is the most viewed medium, newspapers and magazines were the most impactful media for quitting tobacco. Conclusions: Tobacco consumption is a major public health challenge in urban slums of New Mumbai. Absence of effective legislation on curbing availability of tobacco products and poor community awareness on the harmful effects of tobacco creates a vicious cycle contributing to the rising burden NCDs in India.