Cultural Smokeless Tobacco Use Among Asian Indians

Asian Indians (AIs) in the United States exhibit disproportionate burdens of oral cancer and cardiovascular disease, which are potentially linked to smokeless tobacco. However, little is known about the use of cultural smokeless tobacco (CST) products in this population. A recently published study utilized California Asian Indian Tobacco Use Survey data from 2004 (n = 1,618) to investigate CST prevalence among California’s AIs. CST products included paan, paan masala, and gutka. 
Findings included: 
·         The current CST prevalence was 13% (14% for men and 12% for women). 
·         The prevalence of current cigarette use was 6% (9% for men and 2% for women), and the prevalence was lower for cultural smoked tobacco (0.1% for bidis and 0.5% for hookahs).
·         Factors associated with CST use included being male, being 50 years old or older, being an immigrant, speaking an AI language at home, having a higher level of education, having a higher income, identifying as non-Sikh and disagreeing that spiritual beliefs are the foundation of life.
The researchers concluded that acculturation and religious affiliation are important factors associated with current use. 
Source: Mukherjea et al. (2018). Moving toward a true depiction of tobacco behavior among Asian Indians in California: Prevalence and factors associated with cultural smokeless tobacco product use. CancerApr 1;124 Suppl 7:1607-1613.

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