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ORIGINAL RESEARCH Table of Contents   
Year : 2007  |  Volume : 18  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 11-14
Areca nut use among rural residents of Sriperambudur Taluk: A qualitative study


1 Medical Director, Chennai Dental Research Foundation, 56, Dr. Radhakrishnan Salai, Mylapore, Chennai - 4, India
2 Social Scientist, Chennai Dental Research Foundation, 56, Dr. Radhakrishnan Salai, Mylapore, Chennai - 4, India
3 Epidemiologist, Chennai Dental Research Foundation, 56, Dr. Radhakrishnan Salai, Mylapore, Chennai - 4, India
4 Dept. of Epidemiology, The Tamilnadu Dr. MGR Medical University, Guindy, Chennai - 32, India

Correspondence Address:
R Gunaseelan
Medical Director, Chennai Dental Research Foundation, 56, Dr. Radhakrishnan Salai, Mylapore, Chennai - 4
India
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DOI: 10.4103/0970-9290.30915

PMID: 17347538

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O0 bjective: The main objective of the study was to understand the perceptions of the residents of rural part of Sriperambudur Taluk, regarding areca nut use. This article discusses the findings of in-depth interviews and focus group discussions at rural part of Sriperambudur Taluk. Materials and Methods: A community-based survey was conducted using qualitative methods. Out of 168 villages, 11 were randomly chosen. Fifteen in-depth interviews and five focus group discussions were conducted. Only those above 10 years of age and who used areca nut either in processed or un-processed form were included in the study. Results: Among different forms of areca nut products, the use of Hans, which is a commercial flavored product containing areca nut, tobacco and other ingredients is believed to be the most prevalent habit in all the age groups. Chewing areca nut is the initiating habit, leading to other habits such as smoking and consuming alcoholic beverages. Residents less than 30 years of age chew areca nut products for fun or because of peer pressure whereas the 30 to 50 year olds get habituated due to reasons such as boredom and family problems. Although there is awareness regarding the ill-effects of tobacco use, there is not much awareness regarding areca nut. According to the residents, the community has not given enough thought regarding areca nut products and therefore no action has been taken to mitigate this high-risk behavior. Conclusion: It is the perception of the community that there is an increasing trend in the use of areca nut especially the commercial forms such as Hans , in rural Tamilnadu. Habit gets initiated at a very young age; therefore age specific intervention programs should be implemented. Periodic research should be conducted to better understand the changing trends of chewing areca nut products.


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