Cigarette smoking and khat chewing among University instructors in Ethiopia

  • Y. Kebede


Objective: To assess the prevalence and risk factors of cigarette smoking and khat chewing.
Design: College based cross sectional.
Setting: Four colleges found in north west Ethiopia namely Gondar College of Medical Sciences, Gondar College of Teachers Education, Bahr Dar University Engineering Faculty, and Bahr Dar University Education Faculty.
Subjects: All instructors in these colleges.
Main outcome measures: Prevalence of cigarette smoking and khat chewing.
Results: Seventy six (42.0%) instructors were either lifetime smokers or lifetime khat chewers or both. The current prevalence rates of cigarette smoking and khat chewing were found to be 13.3% and 21.0%, respectively. The majority of the instructors started smoking (56.8%) and khat chewing (40.0%) while they were senior high school or first year college students. Most of the instructors (82.1%) knew that cigarette smoking is a risk factor for lung diseases including lung cancer. Statisticallyly significant difference (p<0.05) was seen between the outcome variable and the independent variables faculty, religion, education status, income and family history of khat chewing.
Conclusion: The prevalence of cigarette smoking seemed to decrease among university instructors but the prevalence of khat chewing is almost the same as it was some years ago. Instructors knew the common health risks associated with cigarette smoking. The high schools and colleges should inform their students about the health and socioeconomic problems associated with cigarette smoking and khat chewing. Additionally, college students need counseling service on ways of coping with their problems.
(East African Medical Journal: 2002 79(5): 274-278)

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