<p>Tobacco use among school children is becoming a serious problem. The early age of initiation underscores the urgent need to intervene and protect this vulnerable group from falling prey to this addiction. The present study was undertaken to assess (i) the prevalence and pattern of tobacco use among school children in India (ii) relation of tobacco use prevalence and pattern with socio-economic status (SES) of student's family. This is a cross sectional 16 months study done in school going Indian students aged ≥ 6 years with sample size of 1460. The prevalence of tobacco use in children from lower SES families was 9.4% compared to 5.7% in children from middle SES families (p = 0.017). Among children who used tobacco, mean age of onset was younger among children from lower SES (9.97 year vs 11.85 year, p = < 0.01) and they were more likely to use smokeless tobacco only (79.1% vs 61.3%, p = .0.006). However there was no significant difference between two groups in factors which motivated them towards first experience of tobacco. Also there was no significant difference between family histories of two groups in terms of tobacco use. The high prevalence of tobacco consumption, especially smokeless tobacco among children highlights the need for early intervention like regular screening at school level. Also tobacco use cases need to be followed up with intensive treatment.</p>
A. Kurupath and Sureka, P., “A Study on Tobacco Use Among School Children.”, Community Ment Health J, vol. 54, no. 8, pp. 1253-1258, 2018.