Indians are smoking up to cope domestic volence stress : study

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Washington, Dec 21 (UNI) Indian adults are puffing cigarettes to cope up with the stress of domestic violence, a new research shows.

Using a large population survey in India, a study from Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) researchers have found an association between domestic violence and adult smoking, the Science Daily reported.

''This is the first study to show a link between domestic violence and tobacco use in a developing country. It is a powerful piece of evidence that we found this same relationship in a place where poverty is endemic that had previously been shown only in wealthy nations,'' said the lead author Dr Leland Ackerson.

To conduct the research, he analysed the data from the National Family Health Survey of India, during 1998-1999.

The samples included 89,092 women and 278,977 family members aged 15 and older.

The study found that for women who had ever been married, 19 per cent reported incidents of abuse; 85 per cent of abused women reported abuse by their husbands. It found that women who reported past and current abuse had 20 per cent -40 per cent increased odds of tobacco use compared with women reporting no abuse, even after controlling for factors such as income and education level.

Another finding was that smoking risk increased for any adult in households where domestic violence was prevalent, regardless of whether they were personally a victim, a perpetrator or neither.

Domestic violence, is a serious problem in India. Some 40 per cent of Indian women report being slapped, kicked, hit or beaten during their marriages. Smaller studies in the U S have also found an association between domestic violence and smoking. Researchers hypothesise that smoking may act as a ''stress reliever'' in households that experience domestic violence. In fact, Indians who smoke or chew tobacco cite stress relief as one of the reasons they begin using and continue to use tobacco.

UNI

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