Prevalence and Correlates of Betel Quid Chewing among Bhutanese Adults

Kinley Wangdi, Tshering Jamtsho

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Chewing of betel quid, popularly known as doma khamdo, is prevalent in Bhutan and is associated with Bhutanese customs and traditions. The objective of this paper was to determine the prevalence and explore the correlates of current betel quid use in Bhutan. Materials and methods: This is a retrospective study of secondary data from the National Health Survey 2012 (NHS 2012) of Bhutan. The outcome variable of interest was current betel quid use. The self-reported demographic characteristics were obtained using a questionnaire developed following the WHO STEPwise approach to the surveillance of non-communicable diseases (STEP). Univariate and multivariate logistic regression were performed to identify correlates for betel quid use. Results: The prevalence of current betel quid use in this study was 45.0%. The correlates associated with current betel quid use were: being female; having a primary, high school or a monastic education; being professionals in the armed forces, managers, technicians, service and sales workers, and machine operators; being current smokers; alcohol consumption; and intake of drugs. Correlates associated with decreased betel quid use were: having a diploma/certificate-level and non-formal education, and living in urban areas. Conclusion: The findings indicate that betel quid was consumed by nearly half of the Bhutanese population. Bhutan should immediately initiate national prevention programs targeting these correlates of betel quid use.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1443-1449
Number of pages7
JournalSubstance Use and Misuse
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2020
Externally publishedYes


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