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  • SEPTEMBER 2021 Issue has been successfully launched on 1 September 2021.

Abstract

EVALUATION OF KNOWLEDGE AND PERCEPTIONS WITH REGARD TO PICTORIAL HEALTH WARNINGS ON TOBACCO PRODUCTS AMONG PATIENTS DIAGNOSED WITH ORAL CANCER IN MANGALORE CITY

Supriya A.*, Rekha Shenoy, Ganesh Shenoy Panchmal, Praveen Jodalli, Laxminarayan Sonde and Imran Pasha

ABSTRACT

Introduction: Tobacco use has been identified by the World Health Organization as leading cause of death and disability in the world. In an attempt to reduce the magnitude of tobacco use, compulsory inclusion of pictorial health warnings (PHWs) on all tobacco products have been adopted by various nations. The circumstances as to how people continue the use of tobacco to the point of developing oral cancer despite awareness about the ill effects of tobacco is the main focus of this study. Objectives: To assess the knowledge and perceptions with regard to pictorial health warnings on tobacco products among patients diagnosed with oral cancer. Methods: A cross sectional study was conducted from August to September 2016 at three tertiary care hospitals in Mangaluru, South India. A structured questionnaire was used to interview the patients. The reasons as to why PHWs were not effective in stopping the patients from tobacco use were investigated. Results: A total of 143 patients were included in the study. Of these, 87 (60.8%) patients used smoked tobacco and 56 (39.2%) patients used smokeless tobacco. Of the 143 patients, 96 (67.1%) reported being aware about the presence of PHWs, and among them, the commonest reason reported by 44 (30.8%) patients for continuing the use of tobacco was dependency/ addiction. Among the 47 (32.9%) patients who reported being oblivious to the presence of PHWs on tobacco products, 20 (14.0%) patients reported that the products they used never displayed any PHWs. Conclusion: Graphic warnings are better suited than text-only warnings to capture attention, and the message is retained for a longer time. The presence of PHWs can enhance awareness about the carcinogenic effects of tobacco. They are an effective way to inform tobacco users about the harmful effects of tobacco use and motivate them to quit tobacco.

Keywords: Pictorial health warning, tobacco products, oral cancer, smoking.


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