Smoking Amongst Young College Girls in Mumbai: Prevalence and Predisposing Factors

Shivani Chowdhury Salian, Binal Kevadia


Purpose of the Study: This study was conducted to determine the prevalence of smoking, knowledge about the ill effects of smoking on health, and the influence of family members’ smoking habits among college female students.

Materials and Methodology: The cross-sectional survey was carried out amongst 1000 young collegegoing girls in and around Mumbai to know the prevalence of cigarette smoking amongst young college girls between 18 and 25 years, with reference to the factors that caused the initiation of smoking, daily smoking activities, the desire levels of smoking, psychological mind set and the quit rates. Other factors
like the common age at which females tend to begin smoking are also looked into. Data was collected via a questionnaire, which was designed and validated indigenously. This survey would thus be a stepping stone for future studies to be conducted on this topic.

Outcome Measures: Self-reports of cigarette smoking in the past 30 days and in the past year, age at smoking first cigarette, and number of attempts to quit.

Results: Descriptive analysis was done using SPSS version 18. In the present study, 1000 samples were taken out of which 13% college girls were cigarette smokers while 87% subjects did not smoke cigarettes. Girls from all three major courses of study had participated in the study (science, commerce and arts) of which 68% were science students. 3% subjects smoked only cigarettes while 10% consumed both cigarette and hookah.

Conclusion: The study concludes that the prevalence of smoking amongst girls varies in different subject streams and that family and friends have a great influence on individuals starting or stopping smoking. Extensive health education programs are needed to educate young women on the health hazards of smoking and help stop them from smoking. Also, the main cause of initiation of smoking was friends’ influence and encouragement; the next cause being studies’ stress while few subjects started smoking out of curiosity and just to try, and a few girls started just for fun. It was also ascertained that peer pressure does cause young girls to initiate smoking.


Community, Young Population, Girls, Smoking, Desire

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