Prevalence and Correlates of Cultural Smokeless Tobacco Products among South Asian Americans in New York City

  • Benjamin H. Han
  • Laura C. WyattEmail author
  • Scott E. Sherman
  • Nadia S. Islam
  • Chau Trinh-Shevrin
  • Simona C. Kwon
Original Paper


Despite the high prevalence of smokeless tobacco (SLT) use in South Asia, little is known about the use of cultural smokeless tobacco among South Asians in the United States (US). This study examines the prevalence and correlates of SLT products among South Asians living in New York City (NYC). A total of 602 South Asians living in NYC completed a community health needs and resource assessment and answered questions about the use of SLT. Multivariable logistic regression models were run to examine predictors of SLT use (ever and current use). A total of 28.2% South Asian individuals reported ever use of SLT (35.9% among men and 21.5% among women) and a total of 12.9% reported current use of SLT (16.5% among men and 9.7% among women). Logistic regression models were stratified by sex. Among men, factors associated with ever or current use included: Bangladeshi and Himalayan ethnic subgroup, speaking English very well, attending a religious service a few times a year (ever use only), and current or former cigarette smoking. Among women, factors associated with ever use included: Bangladeshi ethnic subgroup, self-reporting condition of mouth and teeth as fair/poor, and at risk for depression. No factors were significant among women for current use. Overall, prevalence of current and ever use of SLT is high, and important differences exist by sex. Future studies are needed to better understand SLT use patterns in South Asian communities in the US and to inform culturally relevant interventions aiming to decrease overall tobacco use.


Asian Americans Smokeless tobacco Community health Community-based participatory research 



This publication was made possible by Grants K23DA043651 and K24DA038345 (NIH National Institute on Drug Abuse), 1U48DP001904-01 (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), grant U54MD000538 (NIH National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities), and Grant UL1TR001445 (National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Medicine, Division of Geriatic Medicine and Palliative CareNYU School of MedicineNew YorkUSA
  2. 2.Center for Drug Use and HIV/HCV ResearchNYU College of Global HealthNew YorkUSA
  3. 3.Department of Population HealthNYU School of MedicineNew YorkUSA
  4. 4.VA New York Harbor Healthcare SystemNew YorkUSA

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