Context: A high prevalence of tobacco use, even among educated professionals like teachers, has been reported from Bihar. After passing of the Cigarette and Other Tobacco Products Act (COTPA) in 2003, there have been major improvements in tobacco control nationwide.
Aims: To compare tobacco use prevalence among school teachers in Bihar reported in 2000 with a survey in 2008 and investigate correlates of current and past tobacco-use.
Methods: Data from the baseline survey of a cluster random sample of 72 government schools conducted during the beginning of two consecutive school years was analyzed.
Results: The prevalence of current tobacco use was 35.5% and past use, 11.3%. Likelihood of current use compared with no use increased with age (odds ratio [OR] =3.27 for > 50 years compared to < 30, 95% confidence interval [CI]: [1.50, 7.13]); whereas that of past use compared to current use decreased (OR = 0.25, 95% CI: [0.09-0.68] for age > 50 years compared to < 30 years).
Discussion: Compared to the tobacco use prevalence among Bihar school teachers reported from a survey in the year 2000 (77.4%), the prevalence in this survey in 2008 was much lower and past use, much higher. In the earlier survey, lal dantmajan was counted as a tobacco product. If we do the same in the current survey, and consider ever use, the prevalence even then was 53.9%, lower than the earlier figure. Although the tobacco use among teachers in Bihar is still high, it has decreased after the implementation of COTPA and the cessation has increased.