The burden of tobacco use is high in India. Tobacco use behaviour is influenced by sociodemographic factors. The Indian state of Kerala is considered unique compared to the rest of India in having high social development indices. The objective of this study was to explore the sociodemographic factors affecting tobacco use and its predictors in Kerala.

A cross-sectional study was conducted using data obtained from the Global Adult Tobacco Survey 2 (2016-2017) for the state of Kerala in India. Questions from the survey pertaining to sociodemographic characteristics (age, gender, area of residence, marital status, religion, education level, and employment status) were selected and served as independent variables. Outcomes are reported as odds ratios.

A total of 2186 individuals (783 men and 1403 women) participated in GATS-2 of Kerala state. People aged <45 years were less likely to be smokers (OR=0.54; 95% CI:0.39–0.75) and smokeless tobacco users (OR=0.20; 95% CI:0.12–0.33). Men were more likely to use tobacco compared to women (OR=189.9; 95% CI: 46.95–768.10 for smoking tobacco, and OR=2.29; 95% CI: 1.55–3.38 for smokeless forms).

Tobacco use in Kerala was below the national average. Older age (≥45 years) was associated with tobacco use while poor literacy levels and employment status were significantly associated with smoking.

The authors have completed and submitted the ICMJE Form for Disclosure of Potential Conflicts of Interest and none was reported.
There was no source of funding for this research.
Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
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