Tobacco users found to be poor in studies

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It is a gateway that leads users to other potent drugs, says a study done among school children.

A survey of more than 7,500 high school and higher secondary school students in Ernakulam district has found that tobacco users are prone to poor academic performance.

It also suggests that tobacco is a gateway drug, one that leads users to other potent drugs. Up to 76.3% of lifelong tobacco users — those who have smoked or used smokeless tobacco throughout their life — have failed in a subject compared to 57% of non-users. Further, 24.7% of such users have failed a year of studies as against 9.1% of non-users.

The study also found that tobacco users had significantly higher usage rates of alcohol and illicit drugs. Alcohol use among lifelong tobacco users has been found to be 67.8% as compared to 11% in non-users. In the case of illicit drugs, the rates of use are 33% versus 6.1% in tobacco users and non-users respectively, according to a release.

The findings, recently published in the Indian Journal of Medical Research, were part of the findings of a larger study on psychological issues among adolescent school students conducted by the Bengaluru-based National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS). The National Health Mission (Kerala) and the Department of Health and Family Welfare had been associated with the study. Read More