Knowledge, attitude and behavioral determinants of tobacco use among 13-15 year old school children

J Int Soc Prev Community Dent. Jul-Aug 2015;5(4):321-6. doi: 10.4103/2231-0762.161764.


Background: The epidemic of tobacco use is one of the greatest threats to global health today. Tobacco attributable deaths in India currently range from 800,000 to 900,000 per year. Adolescents are among the most vulnerable group to start tobacco use. Information on tobacco use among the youth is necessary to establish control measures against it.

Objectives: To assess the knowledge, attitude, and behavioral determinants of tobacco use among high school students (age13-15 years) in Bangalore.

Materials and method: A cross-sectional study was conducted over a period of 3 weeks in the month of September 2012. A structured, pretested questionnaire was administered randomly to 500 high school students in Bangalore to assess the knowledge, attitude, and behavioral determinants of tobacco use.

Results: Majority of the study population [94.4% (472/500)] believed that smoking is definitely harmful to our health. Also, 39.0% of the participants of age 13 years believed that smoking does not help in socializing and 92.2% of study subjects had negative attitude toward starting the habit. Most of them (83.9%) had a negative perception about smokers that they lack confidence. However, less than 1% of the study population had a habit of smoking at this young age.

Conclusion: Awareness of the harmful effects of smoking was high among the study population. The study provides insight into the factors to consider while planning adolescent anti-smoking programs in this and similar settings.

Keywords: Behavioral determinants; high school children; tobacco.