Chewing of betel, areca and tobacco

Perceptions and knowledge regarding their role in head and neck cancers in an urban squatter settlement in Pakistan

Muhammad Khawaja, Samia Mazahir, Atif Majeed, Farida Malik, Kanwal Ali Raza Merchant, Maria Maqsood, Rabia Malik, Shehzad Ghaffar, Zafar Fatmi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

39 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The link of betel, areca and chewable tobacco with head and neck cancers is clearly established. Fifty eight percent of the global head and neck cancers occur in South and Southeast Asia, where chewing of betel, areca and tobacco are common. This study was carried out to establish the pattern of use of Paan, Chaalia, Gutka, Niswar, Tumbaku and Naas among population of squatter settlement of Karachi and to determine the perceptions and knowledge regarding their role in the etiology of head and neck cancers. It was a cross-sectional study, performed at Bilal colony in Karachi. Through systematic sampling, 425 subjects [a male and female from a household] were interviewed with a structured questionnaire. Knowledge regarding etiology of head and neck cancers was classified in ordinals of 'good', 'some' and 'poor', for each substance separately, while practices were classified into 'daily user', 'occasional user' and 'never user'. About 40% of the participants were chewing at least one item [betel, areca or tobacco products] on daily basis. This prevalence was 2.46 times higher among males than females and 1.39 times higher among adolescents than adults. At least 79% of the participants were classified as having poor knowledge about the carcinogenicity of each of these items. Knowledge increased with age and level of education. Health hazards of these items were poorly recognized and about 20% perceived at least one of these items to be beneficial. Positive attitudes were seen regarding the steps to curb the production, business and consumption of these substances. In conclusion, prevalence of chewing of betel, areca and tobacco among adults and adolescent is high. Deficiency in knowledge and wrong perception of favorable effect of chewing products is common. Besides curtailing the availability of chewing products, correct knowledge regarding its ill-effects should be inculcated among population to decrease the burden of head and neck cancers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)95-100
Number of pages6
JournalAsian Pacific Journal of Cancer Prevention
Volume7
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2006

Fingerprint

Areca
Mastication
Pakistan
Head and Neck Neoplasms
Tobacco
Southeastern Asia
Population Dynamics
Tobacco Products
Cross-Sectional Studies
Education
Health
Population

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Epidemiology
  • Oncology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Cancer Research

Cite this

Khawaja, Muhammad ; Mazahir, Samia ; Majeed, Atif ; Malik, Farida ; Merchant, Kanwal Ali Raza ; Maqsood, Maria ; Malik, Rabia ; Ghaffar, Shehzad ; Fatmi, Zafar. / Chewing of betel, areca and tobacco : Perceptions and knowledge regarding their role in head and neck cancers in an urban squatter settlement in Pakistan. In: Asian Pacific Journal of Cancer Prevention. 2006 ; Vol. 7, No. 1. pp. 95-100.
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title = "Chewing of betel, areca and tobacco: Perceptions and knowledge regarding their role in head and neck cancers in an urban squatter settlement in Pakistan",
abstract = "The link of betel, areca and chewable tobacco with head and neck cancers is clearly established. Fifty eight percent of the global head and neck cancers occur in South and Southeast Asia, where chewing of betel, areca and tobacco are common. This study was carried out to establish the pattern of use of Paan, Chaalia, Gutka, Niswar, Tumbaku and Naas among population of squatter settlement of Karachi and to determine the perceptions and knowledge regarding their role in the etiology of head and neck cancers. It was a cross-sectional study, performed at Bilal colony in Karachi. Through systematic sampling, 425 subjects [a male and female from a household] were interviewed with a structured questionnaire. Knowledge regarding etiology of head and neck cancers was classified in ordinals of 'good', 'some' and 'poor', for each substance separately, while practices were classified into 'daily user', 'occasional user' and 'never user'. About 40{\%} of the participants were chewing at least one item [betel, areca or tobacco products] on daily basis. This prevalence was 2.46 times higher among males than females and 1.39 times higher among adolescents than adults. At least 79{\%} of the participants were classified as having poor knowledge about the carcinogenicity of each of these items. Knowledge increased with age and level of education. Health hazards of these items were poorly recognized and about 20{\%} perceived at least one of these items to be beneficial. Positive attitudes were seen regarding the steps to curb the production, business and consumption of these substances. In conclusion, prevalence of chewing of betel, areca and tobacco among adults and adolescent is high. Deficiency in knowledge and wrong perception of favorable effect of chewing products is common. Besides curtailing the availability of chewing products, correct knowledge regarding its ill-effects should be inculcated among population to decrease the burden of head and neck cancers.",
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Khawaja, M, Mazahir, S, Majeed, A, Malik, F, Merchant, KAR, Maqsood, M, Malik, R, Ghaffar, S & Fatmi, Z 2006, 'Chewing of betel, areca and tobacco: Perceptions and knowledge regarding their role in head and neck cancers in an urban squatter settlement in Pakistan', Asian Pacific Journal of Cancer Prevention, vol. 7, no. 1, pp. 95-100.

Chewing of betel, areca and tobacco : Perceptions and knowledge regarding their role in head and neck cancers in an urban squatter settlement in Pakistan. / Khawaja, Muhammad; Mazahir, Samia; Majeed, Atif; Malik, Farida; Merchant, Kanwal Ali Raza; Maqsood, Maria; Malik, Rabia; Ghaffar, Shehzad; Fatmi, Zafar.

In: Asian Pacific Journal of Cancer Prevention, Vol. 7, No. 1, 01.01.2006, p. 95-100.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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T1 - Chewing of betel, areca and tobacco

T2 - Perceptions and knowledge regarding their role in head and neck cancers in an urban squatter settlement in Pakistan

AU - Khawaja, Muhammad

AU - Mazahir, Samia

AU - Majeed, Atif

AU - Malik, Farida

AU - Merchant, Kanwal Ali Raza

AU - Maqsood, Maria

AU - Malik, Rabia

AU - Ghaffar, Shehzad

AU - Fatmi, Zafar

PY - 2006/1/1

Y1 - 2006/1/1

N2 - The link of betel, areca and chewable tobacco with head and neck cancers is clearly established. Fifty eight percent of the global head and neck cancers occur in South and Southeast Asia, where chewing of betel, areca and tobacco are common. This study was carried out to establish the pattern of use of Paan, Chaalia, Gutka, Niswar, Tumbaku and Naas among population of squatter settlement of Karachi and to determine the perceptions and knowledge regarding their role in the etiology of head and neck cancers. It was a cross-sectional study, performed at Bilal colony in Karachi. Through systematic sampling, 425 subjects [a male and female from a household] were interviewed with a structured questionnaire. Knowledge regarding etiology of head and neck cancers was classified in ordinals of 'good', 'some' and 'poor', for each substance separately, while practices were classified into 'daily user', 'occasional user' and 'never user'. About 40% of the participants were chewing at least one item [betel, areca or tobacco products] on daily basis. This prevalence was 2.46 times higher among males than females and 1.39 times higher among adolescents than adults. At least 79% of the participants were classified as having poor knowledge about the carcinogenicity of each of these items. Knowledge increased with age and level of education. Health hazards of these items were poorly recognized and about 20% perceived at least one of these items to be beneficial. Positive attitudes were seen regarding the steps to curb the production, business and consumption of these substances. In conclusion, prevalence of chewing of betel, areca and tobacco among adults and adolescent is high. Deficiency in knowledge and wrong perception of favorable effect of chewing products is common. Besides curtailing the availability of chewing products, correct knowledge regarding its ill-effects should be inculcated among population to decrease the burden of head and neck cancers.

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