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Year : 2022  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 78-82

Relationship between peer pressure and initiation of smoking and alcoholism among the college-going students of Kolkata: A case–control study

1 Department of Community Medicine, NRS Medical College, Kolkata, West Bengal, India
2 Department of Community Medicine, Medical College Kolkata, Kolkata, West Bengal, India
3 Department of Community Medicine, Burdwan Medical College, Bardhaman, West Bengal, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Kaushik Mitra
Flat K-3, Cluster-8, Purbachal, Salt Lake, Kolkata - 700 097, West Bengal
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/amit.amit_15_22

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Introduction: Substance abuse is now steadily increasing in the adolescent age group across the globe. Pressure to blend in with substance-using peers is an important predictor of substance abuse among adolescents. Smoking and alcohol intake are the two most common forms of substance abuse. Hence, this study tried to explore the effect of peer pressure on both substance users and nonusers and tried to find the adjusted effect of that pressure on substance abuse focused on smoking and alcohol intake. Materials and Methods: A case–control study was conducted on college-going students from various colleges and institutions in Kolkata during September and October 2021. The sample size for this case–control study was calculated taking confidence level at 99% and power 90%. Case and control ratio was taken as 1:1. Age-based matching was ensured. Further matching among the cases and controls was done based on gender. Data were collected by investigators using a pretested self-administered questionnaire that particularly focused on peer pressure along with some demographic factors. The questionnaire was distributed via electronic media and was circulated on various social platforms. A modified Peer Pressure Inventory containing 8 factors was created to evaluate the effect of peer pressure, and the Likert scale was used to score the responses of the participants. The odds ratio for the effect of peer pressure on smoking and drinking was calculated with a 99% confidence interval separately. Risk calculation was performed by multiple logistic regression to describe predictability and adjusted odds ratio of peer pressure on initiation of substance abuse. Results: The odds of the effect of peer pressure on initiation of drinking are 24.008 times higher. We also found that 53.62% of the cases have been drinking alcohol for at least 12 months. The odds of peer influence on initiating smoking tobacco were calculated to be 31.320. We found that 84.38% of the smokers had been subjected to significant peer pressure while 85.29% of the control subjects had not been subjected to significant peer pressure. Conclusion: Odds of peer pressure on smoking and alcohol initiation is quite high. Staying alone for more time has a protective effect on initiation of substance abuse.

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