Objective: It is well known that tobacco smoking is a major preventable cause of morbidity and mortality. Use of smokeless tobacco such as Paan, Nass, Gutka, and Tumbaku is common in South and Southeast Asia but not in Iran, where it is not considered as a normal cultural habit.
Methods: A cross-sectional study was carried out in five colleges of Sistan Baloochestan, the Southeastern province of Iran. Three hundred fifty four students, who were selected by convenient sampling, completed a peer reviewed, pre-tested, self-administered questionnaire. The Chi square test and logistic regression analyses were applied.
Results: Thirty nine (11 %) students were lifetime users of smokeless tobacco among which nineteen (5.4%) were occasional users, seven (2 %) were current users and thirteen (3.6%) fulfilled the criterion for established users. Paan was the most commonly used form of smokeless tobacco followed by Nass. On univariate analysis, lifetime use of smokeless tobacco showed significant associations with the use of cigarettes, student gender (Male > Female), individual condition (native > guest) and kind of the college (engineering > psychology).
Conclusion: The use of smokeless tobacco among students should not be ignored. The governments should add preventive measures against smokeless tobacco use to the existing law against cigarette smoking
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