BACKGROUND: In South and Southeast Asian countries, tobacco is consumed in diverse forms, and smoking among women is very low. We aimed to provide national estimates of prevalence and social determinants of smoking and smokeless tobacco use among men and women separately.
METHODS: Data from Demographic and Health Surveys completed in nine countries (India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, Maldives, Philippines, Cambodia, Indonesia, and Timor Leste) were analyzed. Current smoking or smokeless tobacco use was assessed as response "yes" to one or more of three questions, such as "Do you currently smoke cigarettes?" Weighted country-level prevalence rates for socio-economic subgroups were calculated for smoking and smokeless tobacco use. Binary logistic regression analyses were done on STATA/IC (version 10) by 'svy' command.
RESULTS: Prevalence and type of tobacco use among men and women varied across the countries and among socio-economic sub groups. Smoking prevalence was much lower in women than men in all countries. Smoking among men was very high in Indonesia, Maldives, and Bangladesh. Smokeless tobacco (mainly chewable) was used in diverse forms, particularly in India, among both men and women. Chewing tobacco was common in Nepal, Bangladesh, Maldives, and Cambodia. Both smoking and smokeless tobacco use were associated with higher age, lower education, and poverty, but their association with place of residence and marital status was not uniform between men and women across the countries.
CONCLUSION: Policymakers should consider type of tobacco consumption and their differentials among various population subgroups to implement country-specific tobacco control policies and target the vulnerable groups. Smokeless tobacco use should also be prioritized in tobacco control efforts.
KEYWORDS: Prevalence; Smokeless tobacco use; Smoking; Social determinants; South and Southeast Asia
* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.