Predictors of oral tobacco use among young adult patients visiting family medicine clinics in Karachi, Pakistan

Raheem Dhanani, Asif Jafferani, Nizar Bhulani, Syed Iqbal Azam, Ali Khan Khuwaja

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Prevalence of cancers associated with the use of oral tobacco (OT) is rising very rapidly and prevention of use is the best option to tackle this scenario. This cross-sectional study estimated the proportion of OT use and predictors associated with its initiation and determined the knowledge, attitude and practices of OT users. A total of 231 young adult patients (15-30 years age) were interviewed by medical students in family practice clinics in Karachi, Pakistan. OT use was considered as usage of any of the following: betel quid (paan) with tobacco, betel nuts with tobacco (gutkha), and snuff (naswar). Overall, 49.8% (95% CI=43.3-56.2) subjects had used OT at least in one form. Multivariable analysis demonstrated independent association of OT users with secondary education level (adjusted OR=3.6; 95% CI=1.6-8.1) and use of OT by a family member (OR=2.3; 95% CI=1.3-4.0). Among OT users, 37.4% started after being inspired by friends/peer pressure, 60% using for more than 5 years, 53.2 % users reported getting physical/mental comfort from the use of OT while 31.6% tried to quit this habit but failed. We suggest socially and culturally acceptable educational and behavioral interventions for control of OT usage and hence to prevent its associated cancers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)43-47
Number of pages5
JournalAsian Pacific Journal of Cancer Prevention
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2011


  • Cancer prevention
  • Oral tobacco
  • Pakistan
  • Young adults


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