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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 17  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 14-18

Tobacco use: Exploring the beliefs of street food vendors in Delhi, India

Department of Public Health Dentistry, Maulana Azad Institute of Dental Sciences, MAMC Campus, New Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Shivam Kapoor
Department of Public Health Dentistry, Maulana Azad Institute of Dental Sciences, MAMC Campus, BSZ Marg, New Delhi - 110 002
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jiaphd.jiaphd_208_18

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Background: Tobacco-use shows a clear and continual increase with decreasing wealth quintiles. Street vendors are an integral part of the Indian economy, offering potpourri of readily available, inexpensive goods or services in public spaces since time immemorial. Aim: The current study explores tobacco-related knowledge, attitude, and behavior among street food vendors in New Delhi. Materials and Methods: An interview-based questionnaire survey was conducted among food vendors, using prevalidated tool. Apart from demography, 15-item assessed knowledge, attitude, and awareness on tobacco use and control for 2 months. Tobacco usage history was assessed on a 9-item checklist for the users. A total of 147 vendors around a tertiary care public hospital in Central Delhi, who agreed to participate in the study constituted the study sample. The data were analyzed using SPSS version 21. Gender differences for the same were ranked and tested for a significant difference using the Mann–Whitney test. P < 0.05 was considered as statistically significant. Results: The majority of the subset of this sample (n = 127) were found to be tobacco users in either forms (smoke, smokeless, or both). Eighty-seven (68.5%) of the vendors reported the initiation of tobacco use between 18–25 years and 61 (48.03%) participants admitted the morning smoke/dip as most difficult to give up. All of them were aware about the harmful systemic effects of tobacco. Around 66% of the study participants were aware of the existing tobacco legislations in relation to minors and public places. Conclusions: In the current study, most of the food vendors, although aware, were found to be tobacco users. This group constitutes as important socially relevant spot that need rigorous monitoring. Further studies need to collect nationwide data and take effective steps in defining these sites as tobacco-free.

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