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    ABSTRACT: Our objective was to establish the short-term outcomes for successful tobacco cessation of a programme offering UK resident Bangladeshi women chewing paan with tobacco nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) in addition to brief advice and encouragement alone. We used a short-term longitudinal, quasi-experimental study design, in the setting of two local authority housing estates in Tower Hamlets, London. Bangladeshi women volunteers were recruited following presentations to community groups. The volunteers were assigned, after matching for age, number of paan with tobacco chewed daily and medical screening, to receive one of two tobacco cessation interventions (NRT with brief encouragement and advice, and brief advice and encouragement alone). The main outcome measures were changes in tobacco use and nicotine dependence, assessed by questionnaire and intake measures, adverse effects, and withdrawal symptoms. In total, 130 volunteers were recruited. Their mean age was 42.5 years (SD = 11.3). Mean number of paan quid with tobacco chewed daily was 10.7 (SD = 9.3) and the average age of starting to add tobacco to paan was 24 years (SD = 12). Ninety-one percent completed the 4-week trial. We found that 19.5% had stopped tobacco use, of whom 22% had received NRT, and 17% brief advice and encouragement alone. The successful members of the NRT group made a significantly greater reduction in their salivary cotinine scores at final review compared to baseline. Oral pain was reported as a barrier to successful oral tobacco cessation by 62% of the volunteers at final review. We conclude that methods identified as helping tobacco smokers successfully stop smoking can be used with Bangladeshi women chewing paan with tobacco. More research is needed to investigate these short-term outcomes and to explore the particular barriers to successful cessation for this group such as oral pain.
    Preview · Article · May 2003 · Health Education Research
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    ABSTRACT: The objective of this study was to establish the prevalence of paan chewing with tobacco by UK-resident Bangladeshi women and the extent to which they manifest nicotine dependence. The cross-sectional study was conducted at two local authority housing estates in Tower Hamlets, London. Participants were 242 Bangladeshi women, selected at random from the current electoral register, who supplied a saliva sample for cotinine and an expired air sample for carbon monoxide analysis. They also participated in a structured interview assessing knowledge, attitudes and behavior with respect to tobacco use. Main outcome measures were data on tobacco use and nicotine dependence, assessed by questionnaire and intake measures. The population prevalence of chewing paan quid with tobacco was 48.5% (95% confidence interval, CI 42.01-54.98%), while 4% (95% CI 2.05-7.41%) smoked cigarettes. Higher mean salivary cotinine scores were associated with greater consumption frequency and use of leaf tobacco in the quid. Above-average nicotine dependence was associated with chewing paan quid with tobacco within 1 h of waking (OR = 4.02, p = 0.03, 95% CI 1.08-14.94) and the use of leaf rather than processed tobacco (OR = 3.91, p = 0.025, 95% CI 1.19-12.81). Smoking prevalence is low, but the prevalence of paan quid with tobacco chewing is high in this sample of Bangladeshi women. Cotinine concentration appears to be a reliable indicator of levels of nicotine dependence among paan quid with tobacco chewers. Questionnaire-derived items can be used to identify those with above-average levels of nicotine dependence.
    No preview · Article · Jun 2002 · Nicotine & Tobacco Research
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    ABSTRACT: Toxic oil syndrome (TOS), a previously undescribed disease that occurred in Spain in epidemic form in 1981, has been associated with ingestion of a reprocessed denatured rapeseed oil illegally marketed. However, the association between the syndrome and the adulterated rapeseed oil rests exclusively on epidemiological data because of the absence of toxicologic confirmation and the inability to reproduce the disease in animals. An analysis of the epidemiological evidence available on TOS is carried out in this paper, in an attempt to elucidate the aetiological role of the purported toxic oil. The adulterated oil was found to be highly statistically associated with the syndrome, such an association being extremely unlikely to be due to the effects of bias and/or confounders. The association is very strong, as the estimated relative risk shows (odds ratio = 30), and a dose-response relationship was found. Likewise, the specificity of the association is very high. The temporal sequence of events, although not entirely clear, also helps to support the hypothesis of causality. No other criterion was met, but none of these unmet criteria stands against this hypothesis. From these findings, the adulterated rapeseed oil can be considered a necessary cause for the syndrome to have occurred. Further toxicologic investigations are required to elucidate the precise toxic agent.
    No preview · Article · Feb 1992 · Public Health
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