Original Research

Awareness of health risks associated with smokeless tobacco use among users in Pretoria

Tombo Bongongo, Yusuf Jeewa, Doudou K. Nzaumvila, Indiran Govender
South African Family Practice | Vol 64, No 1 : Part 4| a5560 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/safp.v64i1.5560 | © 2022 Tombo Bongongo, Yusuf Jeewa, Doudou K. Nzaumvila, Indiran Govender | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 14 April 2022 | Published: 11 November 2022

About the author(s)

Tombo Bongongo, Department of Family Medicine & Primary Health Care, School of Health, Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University, Pretoria, South Africa
Yusuf Jeewa, Ramotse Clinic, Tshwane Health District, Tshwane, South Africa
Doudou K. Nzaumvila, Department of Family Medicine & Primary Health Care, School of Health, Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University, Pretoria, South Africa
Indiran Govender, Department of Family Medicine & Primary Health Care, School of Health, Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University, Pretoria, South Africa

Abstract

Background: Smokeless tobacco (ST) refers to all tobacco-containing products that are not smoked but rather consumed through other means. Contrary to the popular belief that ST products are safe, the use of such products exposes users to health risks. To assess the awareness of health risks associated with ST use among users in a Pretoria community, the study was conducted in Ramotse community, located in Tshwane region 2, Gauteng, South Africa.

Methods: This was a cross-sectional design, using a piloted, structured and self-administered questionnaire.

Results: Of 479 participants with a mean age of 43 years (ranging from 18 to 89 years), most were in the age group 30–39 years (148; 31.6%), followed by ≥ 50 years (138; 29.4%). There were more females (371; 77.5%), more unemployed (263; 54.9%), married (236; 49.7%), had reached the secondary level of education (270; 56.4%), did not have any chronic illness (274; 57.2%), used snuff by nose (338; 70.6%), and were unaware of health risks associated with ST use (452; 94.4%).

Conclusion: This study has demonstrated a poor awareness of health risks associated with ST use among the users in a Pretoria community. As a result, health education at various levels of the community (clinic, schools, ward-based outreach team or WBOT, etc.) could be one strategy for resolving the problem.

 


Keywords

awareness; health risks; smokeless tobacco use; smokeless tobacco users; Pretoria; South Africa

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