Popular perceptions of tobacco products and patterns of use among male college students in India

Mimi Nichter, Mark Nichter, David Van Sickle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

44 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This paper examines popular perceptions of tobacco products and describes patterns of use among college youth in Karnataka, India. Data are drawn from 25 key informant interviews and six focus groups with male and female college students, interviews with shopkeepers, observational data on youth tobacco consumption, and a college-based survey. The survey was administered to 1587 males attending eleven colleges. Forty-five percent (n=716) of college students surveyed had used tobacco products. Thirty-six percent (n=573) had tried cigarettes, 10% (n=157) had tried bidis, and 18% (n=290) had tried gutkha. Tobacco consumption among smokers was low; for daily smokers, the mean number of cigarettes smoked was 6 per day. Students attending professional colleges, including engineering, medicine, and law were significantly more likely to have ever smoked and to be daily smokers when compared to students enrolled in other courses of study. In interviews, male students noted that smoking a cigarette enhanced one's manliness, relieved boredom, and eased tension. Although female students interviewed were non-smokers, several suggested that in the future, smoking might be an acceptable behavior among college-going females. When asked about their perceptions of smoking among youth in Western countries, the majority of students believed that three-quarters of male and female youth in the West smoked. This perception has been largely formed through media images, including satellite television and films. With regard to addiction, it was widely believed that filter-tipped cigarettes were one of the most addictive products because they are made of better quality tobacco, and are milder and smoother to smoke. Therefore, a person could easily smoke more of them, which would lead to addiction. Another widely held belief was that the more expensive the cigarette, the less harmful it was for one's health.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)415-431
Number of pages17
JournalSocial Science and Medicine
Volume59
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2004

Fingerprint

tobacco
Tobacco Products
nicotine
India
student
Students
smoking
tobacco consumption
Smoking
Tobacco Use
Interviews
Smoke
addiction
smoke
interview
Boredom
boredom
Television
television
product

Keywords

  • Adolescent smoking
  • India
  • Initiation of smoking
  • Tobacco products

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Social Psychology
  • Development
  • Health(social science)

Cite this

Popular perceptions of tobacco products and patterns of use among male college students in India. / Nichter, Mimi; Nichter, Mark; Van Sickle, David.

In: Social Science and Medicine, Vol. 59, No. 2, 07.2004, p. 415-431.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{fd90e8d41c49494389e23acad6144a50,
title = "Popular perceptions of tobacco products and patterns of use among male college students in India",
abstract = "This paper examines popular perceptions of tobacco products and describes patterns of use among college youth in Karnataka, India. Data are drawn from 25 key informant interviews and six focus groups with male and female college students, interviews with shopkeepers, observational data on youth tobacco consumption, and a college-based survey. The survey was administered to 1587 males attending eleven colleges. Forty-five percent (n=716) of college students surveyed had used tobacco products. Thirty-six percent (n=573) had tried cigarettes, 10{\%} (n=157) had tried bidis, and 18{\%} (n=290) had tried gutkha. Tobacco consumption among smokers was low; for daily smokers, the mean number of cigarettes smoked was 6 per day. Students attending professional colleges, including engineering, medicine, and law were significantly more likely to have ever smoked and to be daily smokers when compared to students enrolled in other courses of study. In interviews, male students noted that smoking a cigarette enhanced one's manliness, relieved boredom, and eased tension. Although female students interviewed were non-smokers, several suggested that in the future, smoking might be an acceptable behavior among college-going females. When asked about their perceptions of smoking among youth in Western countries, the majority of students believed that three-quarters of male and female youth in the West smoked. This perception has been largely formed through media images, including satellite television and films. With regard to addiction, it was widely believed that filter-tipped cigarettes were one of the most addictive products because they are made of better quality tobacco, and are milder and smoother to smoke. Therefore, a person could easily smoke more of them, which would lead to addiction. Another widely held belief was that the more expensive the cigarette, the less harmful it was for one's health.",
keywords = "Adolescent smoking, India, Initiation of smoking, Tobacco products",
author = "Mimi Nichter and Mark Nichter and {Van Sickle}, David",
year = "2004",
month = "7",
doi = "10.1016/j.socscimed.2003.10.032",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "59",
pages = "415--431",
journal = "Social Science and Medicine",
issn = "0277-9536",
publisher = "Elsevier Limited",
number = "2",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Popular perceptions of tobacco products and patterns of use among male college students in India

AU - Nichter, Mimi

AU - Nichter, Mark

AU - Van Sickle, David

PY - 2004/7

Y1 - 2004/7

N2 - This paper examines popular perceptions of tobacco products and describes patterns of use among college youth in Karnataka, India. Data are drawn from 25 key informant interviews and six focus groups with male and female college students, interviews with shopkeepers, observational data on youth tobacco consumption, and a college-based survey. The survey was administered to 1587 males attending eleven colleges. Forty-five percent (n=716) of college students surveyed had used tobacco products. Thirty-six percent (n=573) had tried cigarettes, 10% (n=157) had tried bidis, and 18% (n=290) had tried gutkha. Tobacco consumption among smokers was low; for daily smokers, the mean number of cigarettes smoked was 6 per day. Students attending professional colleges, including engineering, medicine, and law were significantly more likely to have ever smoked and to be daily smokers when compared to students enrolled in other courses of study. In interviews, male students noted that smoking a cigarette enhanced one's manliness, relieved boredom, and eased tension. Although female students interviewed were non-smokers, several suggested that in the future, smoking might be an acceptable behavior among college-going females. When asked about their perceptions of smoking among youth in Western countries, the majority of students believed that three-quarters of male and female youth in the West smoked. This perception has been largely formed through media images, including satellite television and films. With regard to addiction, it was widely believed that filter-tipped cigarettes were one of the most addictive products because they are made of better quality tobacco, and are milder and smoother to smoke. Therefore, a person could easily smoke more of them, which would lead to addiction. Another widely held belief was that the more expensive the cigarette, the less harmful it was for one's health.

AB - This paper examines popular perceptions of tobacco products and describes patterns of use among college youth in Karnataka, India. Data are drawn from 25 key informant interviews and six focus groups with male and female college students, interviews with shopkeepers, observational data on youth tobacco consumption, and a college-based survey. The survey was administered to 1587 males attending eleven colleges. Forty-five percent (n=716) of college students surveyed had used tobacco products. Thirty-six percent (n=573) had tried cigarettes, 10% (n=157) had tried bidis, and 18% (n=290) had tried gutkha. Tobacco consumption among smokers was low; for daily smokers, the mean number of cigarettes smoked was 6 per day. Students attending professional colleges, including engineering, medicine, and law were significantly more likely to have ever smoked and to be daily smokers when compared to students enrolled in other courses of study. In interviews, male students noted that smoking a cigarette enhanced one's manliness, relieved boredom, and eased tension. Although female students interviewed were non-smokers, several suggested that in the future, smoking might be an acceptable behavior among college-going females. When asked about their perceptions of smoking among youth in Western countries, the majority of students believed that three-quarters of male and female youth in the West smoked. This perception has been largely formed through media images, including satellite television and films. With regard to addiction, it was widely believed that filter-tipped cigarettes were one of the most addictive products because they are made of better quality tobacco, and are milder and smoother to smoke. Therefore, a person could easily smoke more of them, which would lead to addiction. Another widely held belief was that the more expensive the cigarette, the less harmful it was for one's health.

KW - Adolescent smoking

KW - India

KW - Initiation of smoking

KW - Tobacco products

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=2042427121&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=2042427121&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1016/j.socscimed.2003.10.032

DO - 10.1016/j.socscimed.2003.10.032

M3 - Article

C2 - 15110430

AN - SCOPUS:2042427121

VL - 59

SP - 415

EP - 431

JO - Social Science and Medicine

JF - Social Science and Medicine

SN - 0277-9536

IS - 2

ER -