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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 10  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 738-744

Prevalence and dependency of tobacco use among tribal gypsies in Thoothukudi district - A cross sectional study

Department of Public Health Dentistry, Saveetha Dental College, Saveetha Institute of Medical and Technical Sciences, Saveetha University, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. L Leelavathi
Senior Lecturer, Department of Public Health Dentistry, Saveetha Dental College, Saveetha Institute of Medical and Technical Sciences, Saveetha University, Chennai, Tamil Nadu
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jfmpc.jfmpc_1344_20

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Introduction: The Narikuravars or “gypsy” are a semi vagrant groups distributed across borders, but primarily live in Tamil Nadu, India. They are notorious to face discrimination that interprets into low education level, low socio-economic status and lack of pertinent access to health care. The focus of the present study is to determine the prevalence and dependency with tobacco use among tribal gypsies in Thoothukudi district. Materials and Methods: The study design of the present study was a cross sectional which was done in Thoothukudi district in the month of December, 2019. Oral health status of the study population was analysed by WHO assessment form (adults), 2013. Tobacco dependence was analysed by Fagerstrom Nicotine dependency scale. The inclusion criteria were to include every gypsy person who is a citizen of Thoothukudi district and of all ages. The study included all the narikuravars (164) whose origin is Thoothukudi district. SPSS version 20.0 was used for statistical analysis. Descriptive statistics and Chi square tests were done to establish the distribution and association of the variables, respectively. Results: The total study participants of this cross-sectional study were 164, among them 128 were adults and 36 were children. Results revealed that among the adult population 64.55% were using tobacco, among them 29.1% were using smoking tobacco, 63.4% were using smokeless tobacco and 7.5% were using both. Medium nicotine dependency was more prevalent in both smoking and smokeless tobacco users (82.75% and 53.57%). The association between prevalence of tobacco use and gingival bleeding was statistically significant. Gingival bleeding was present in 88.9% of tobacco users and 11% of non-users (p value- 0.01). Significant association was found between gender and tobacco usage (p value- 0.042), dental erosion and tobacco usage (p value- 0.007). There exists significant association established between gender and nicotine dependency. (p value - 0.000). Conclusion: More than 60% of the adult study participants were using some form of tobacco. Medium tobacco dependency was prevalent among tobacco users. The tribal people have no access to all the services as their counterparts and it's our duty to educate them and create an insight about the ill effects of tobacco usage.

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