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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 25  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 33-38

A comparative study on the health problems and substance abuse among the tobacco farmers and non-tobacco farmers in hassan district, Karnataka

Department of Community Medicine, Hassan Institute of Medical Sciences, Hassan, Karnataka, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Steffi F Maliakel
Department of Community Medicine, Hassan Institute of Medical Sciences, Hassan, Karnataka - 573 201
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijoem.IJOEM_41_20

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Background and Aims: India ranks third in the worldwide tobacco production (2017), and it is increasing every year. Hassan is an important tobacco growing district in Karnataka with over 12,000 growers. These growers are exposed to health risks during cultivation of tobacco, pesticide exposure, long duration of work, mental stress, and nicotine toxicity – Green Tobacco Sickness (GTS) due to direct handling of green tobacco leaves. Objectives: To determine the prevalence of health problems associated with tobacco farming. To determine the extent of substance abuse in tobacco farmers as compared to non-tobacco farmers. Methodology: Study design: Cross-sectional study. Duration: 3 months. Sampling technique: 30 × 7 Cluster sampling technique. House-to-house survey was conducted in 30 tobacco growing villages of Hassan. Seven tobacco growers and seven non-growers were interviewed in each village. Alcohol use disorder identification test (AUDIT) & Fagerstrom nicotine dependence (FND) scale was used to assess the extent of substance abuse. Results: Symptoms of GTS like nausea, dizziness, poor appetite, insomnia were reported more in tobacco growers (p < 0.01). On FND assessment, 63% had moderate to high dependence. On AUDIT assessment, 55.07% growers who had drinking habit had hazardous drinking behavior. Logit function model was used to assess parameter estimate (OR) on substance abuse. Conclusion: Lack of knowledge regarding health effects of tobacco farming, lack of use of PPE, dust and smoke exposure during curing, intense physical and mental stress maybe some reasons for health problems in tobacco growers.


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