Background:India introduced complete ban on smoking in hospitality venues with the introduction of the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act (COTPA 2003)which aims to regulate both smoking and smokeless forms of tobacco.. Since the personal behavior practices of food handlers in restaurants demands that they should not smoke or use tobacco where food products are handled, Investigation was carried out to understand the extent of tobacco use and its addiction among employees in restaurants in Mumbai
Aim: To estimate the prevalence and determinants of tobacco use among food handling restaurant employees .
Methods: Representative random sample of restaurants from two administrative wards in Mumbai was undertaken through two stage sampling process. Socio demographic and information on tobacco use were collected by pretested structured questionnaire among restaurant workers handling food between September-December 2013. Nicotine addiction was measured using the Fagerström Test for Nicotine Dependence.
Results:Total 210 food handler employees from 26 eating establishments were surveyed for tobacco use. Majority (65.7%) were between the age group of 18-25 years and 116 (55.2%) were found to be current tobacco users. Smokeless tobacco use was most common (63.7%). 51.7% had initiated tobacco use before 18 years of age and nearly 57.8% were graded with medium to high Fagerstrom addiction score. Regression analysis showed Illiteracy (OR=0.5, CI 0.28, 0.96; P=.03), Religion (OR= 2.57, CI 1.55, 5.77; P=0.022) , Marital status (OR=0.51, CI 0.26, 1.01 ; P =.05 ) were associated with tobacco use after controlling for age .
Conclusions:Findings of the survey suggests high prevalence of tobacco use among young males working in the eating establishments with a medium to high tobacco addiction with majority of them initiating tobacco use as minors. The study findings calls for targeted tobacco prevention and cessation efforts for these mostly unorganized workers under the organized hospitality industry.