Despite scientific evidence about the harmful effects of smokeless tobacco (SLT), it is widely used in Bangladesh. This study explored perceptions about health effects of SLT use. Semistructured interviews were conducted with 1812 nonsmoking adults. About 40% of the participants were current SLT users or had used SLT in the past. Family members' influence was the main factor for initiation. The participants believed that people continued using SLT because of addiction (52%) and as a part of their lifestyle (23%). The majority of participants (77%) did not mention any benefit, but SLT users considered it to be a remedy for toothache (P <.05). Almost all participants mentioned that SLT was harmful and causes heart disease, cancer, and tuberculosis. Doctors' advice was the common motivating factor to quit. Health promotion interventions should highlight the adverse effects of SLT use, which outweigh the perceived benefits, and should consider addressing the role of family in SLT initiation and use.
- chewing tobacco
- perceptions of smokeless tobacco use
- perceptions of tobacco use
- smokeless tobacco