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‘Tobacco use higher among production workers’

As many as 6,760 workers from manufacturing worksites in the Greater Mumbai region were surveyed from 20 worksites by a group of researchers from the Institute of Public Health.

Written by ZEESHAN SHAIKH | Mumbai |
September 27, 2016 2:13:59 am

Tobacco use is one of the most preventable causes of death and disease globally. Tobacco kills nearly 6 million people each year globally, of which around 5.4 million are a direct result of tobacco use while around 0.6 million are a result of exposure to second-hand smoke.

Even though smoking rates are declining in many countries, the disparity among occupational groups still exists. Over the past several decades, blue-collar workers have been identified as a high-risk group for smoking.

As many as 6,760 workers from manufacturing worksites in the Greater Mumbai region were surveyed from 20 worksites by a group of researchers from the Institute of Public Health.

Of the total 6760 workers, 79 per cent were production and 21 per cent were non-production workers. Current tobacco use was higher among production (23.5%, of which 15.5% were smokeless tobacco users and 8% were smokers) than non-production (19.2% — 10.2% smokeless tobacco users and 9% smokers) workers.

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In contrast, past tobacco use was somewhat lower among production (6.2%) than non-production (8.4%) workers.Over 90% of the workers were males, over 70% were currently married, over 50% reported one or more of their co-workers using tobacco and over 75% reported their workplace had a policy or rule prohibiting tobacco use.

Even though less than 10% of production (8%) and non-production (7%) workers reported their education as six years or below, twice as many production workers (30%) compared to non-production workers (15%) were from the lowest economic well-being index.

Increasing age increased the odds for production workers to be a current tobacco user. In contrast, decreasing education increased the odds for both production and non-production workers to be a current tobacco user. Similarly, decreasing economic well-being index was associated with increased odds for production workers to be current smokeless tobacco users and decreased odds to be current smokers.

Co-workers’ tobacco use increased the odds for both production and non-production workers’ current tobacco use. Production workers who were current smokeless tobacco users were twice as likely to report their workplaces did not have a policy or rule prohibiting tobacco use than production workers who were smokers or non-tobacco users.

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