Abstract

STUDY ON AWARENESS OF DELETERIOUS EFFECTS OF TOBACCO AND ALCOHOL ON ORAL AND GENERAL HEALTH IN SRIKAKULAM (A. P.) POPULATION

Author(s): Lagishetti Venugopal

BACKGROUND Tobacco was first brought to India by Portuguese merchants 400 years ago. Every house in the Portuguese colony took up the new fashion of smoking or chewing tobacco. Later British introduced modern commercially produced cigarettes. Tobacco causes one death in every 6 seconds; yet India is the second leading consumer. According to W.H.O. report, alcohol kills 2.6 lakhs Indians every year. In fact, Andhra Pradesh is by far India’s biggest drinking state, consuming on an average 4.3 to 11.4 litres per year. This study was conducted to evaluate the awareness of harmful effects of tobacco and alcohol in Srikakulam (AP) population by asking some questions to the patients who attended the Dental Department, Govt. General Hospital, Srikakulam, and also to increase the awareness of deleterious effects of tobacco and alcohol. METHODS A questionnaire consisting of 14 questions was given to 300 patients who attended the Department of Dentistry, GGH, Srikakulam and data was collected and analysed. RESULTS This study shows that majority of the patients are males (228). Majority belongs to age group 45-70 years with good number of patients educated up to 10th class and above. Out of 300 patients, majority of the patients are consuming Tobacco since 5 years and more (63%) consuming alcohol (82%) since 5 years and more. CONCLUSIONS Patients are getting information regarding ill effects of tobacco and alcohol through mainly T.V. followed by Newspapers followed by radio and internet. Dentists and oral physicians are playing a major role in detection of precancerous changes and cancer of the oral cavity in the earlier stage. Most of the patients want to quit the consumption of tobacco and alcohol if they are properly counselled by dentists and oral physicians.