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Year : 2017  |  Volume : 33  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 327-335

Profile of tobacco users amongst treatment seekers: A comparison between clinic and community sample

Department of Psychiatry, Post-graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, India

Correspondence Address:
Savita Malhotra
Professor and Head, Department of Psychiatry, PGIMER, Chandigarh
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0971-9962.218600

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Background and objectives: Despite the huge burden of tobacco use or addiction, there has been a glaring scarcity of resources to tackle the problem. Although some of the tobacco users want to quit, very few have the opportunity to seek help from available treatment facilities. The study aimed to find out the profile of treatment seekers from clinic and community programs and also to compare the two groups. Method: This is a cross sectional, retrospective study of subjects enrolled in the clinic and various community outreach programs of a Tobacco Cessation Centre from the year 2002-2011. Modified intake form developed by the WHO was administered to the subjects. Results: Significant difference was found between the two groups with regard to the age of treatment seeking, education and socio economic status. Older subjects reported in greater numbers to the clinic, whereas younger subjects belonged to the community group. Community group had lower level of education, belonged to lower or upper lower socio economic status whereas clinic group had higher level of education and were from the middle or upper socio economic status. Curiosity (Z score = 3.2,P = 0.001) played a significant role in initiating the use in clinic group whereas role model (Z score = 5.1, P = <0.0001) and low self esteem (Z score = 2.0, P = 0.023) were significantly associated with community sample. Presence of medical complications (Z score = 12.5, P = <0.0001), awareness of physical harm of nicotine (Z score = 5.0, P = <0.0001) and awareness of addiction was significantly more in the clinic group. Interpretation and Conclusions: The difference in the socio-demographic and clinical profile of tobacco users in these two treatment groups is noteworthy, and is expected to offer useful information for the clinicians and as well as for the policy makers.

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