Background: There is no safe level of exposure to second hand tobacco smoke (SHS). The World Health Organization has stressed that 100% smoke-free environments are the only effective way to protect the population from the harmful effects of exposure to SHS. Methods: A descriptive cross-sectional questionnaire study was done on 1442, 12 year old, adolescents in Mangalore to determine the exposure to SHS and adolescents’ knowledge, attitude, avoidance and self-efficacy of avoidance towards SHS. Results: The percentage of children exposed to SHS at home was 28.6%. A higher number of male students reported that their parent and/or sibling smoked tobacco compared to their female counterparts. About 48% of the participants reported that persons who lived with them smoked in front of children and this was found to be signifcantly higher among males compared to females. Atleast 46% of the participants had knowledge of second hand tobacco smoke. The avoidance behaviour of the participants was good with most of the participants reporting positive avoidance towards SHS. With respect to their self - efficacy of avoidance of SHS, most of them were confident of avoiding SHS when they were with family or friends but the confidence was less with respect to strangers. Multivariate general linear model analysis showed a significant association between gender and exposure to SHS to 14 items out of the 25 items in the four domains. Males and those not exposed to SHS showed better knowledge, positive attitude, positive avoidance behaviour and positive self efficacy of avoidance to SHS. Conclusion: The findings of our study indicate that better knowledge and a positive attitude and avoidance behavior are associated with reduced exposure to SHS and this reinforces the fact that a sustained health education program incorporated into the school curriculum is the need of the hour.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Cancer Research