Oral lesions among male tobacco users in a sub-urban Nigerian community
Background: Tobacco use in different forms is one of the greatest threats to global health. It is a major preventable cause of premature death and disease and has now become a global epidemic. Limited data exists on the prevalence of oral lesions among tobacco users in Nigeria.
Objective: To determine the prevalence of oral mucosal lesions among tobacco users in Mushin Local Government Area (LGA) of Lagos Stateandassess the knowledge of health risks associated with tobacco use among the users and their attitudes towards tobacco use.
Materials and Methods: This was a community-based descriptive cross-sectional study conducted among tobacco users from identified pockets of areas in the Local government area famous for tobacco use. Data collection tools included interviewer administered questionnaires and clinical examination.
Results: Respondents were aged between 22-62years; the mean age was 35.51years [SD-8.5]. Prevalence of oral lesions was 34%, of these 5% were premalignant. Chronic periodontitis was the most common oral lesion [24.3%] while Leukoplakia was the least common [2.8%]. Majority (89.8%) of respondents agreed that tobacco was dangerous to health; however, the knowledge of the specific diseases associated with tobacco was low. Almost all (91%) respondents support a ban on smoking in public places.
Conclusion: Prevalence of oral lesions was relatively high while knowledge of specific diseases associated with tobacco use was low. Targeted health education initiatives should be developed for tobacco users and regular dental visits to aid early detection of premalignant lesions is also recommended.
Keywords: Oral lesions, Tobacco users, Nigeria