Determinants of cigarette smoking among senior secondary school students in a rural community of Southwest Nigeria
Background: Smoking remains an increasing high-risk behaviour among the youth, despite its harmful effects on health. This study sought to find out the determinants of cigarette smoking among youth of a rural Nigerian community and suggested intervention measures which have potential for the control of smoking among in-school population. Methods: It was a cross-sectional study carried out among 416 students selected through a multi-stage sampling procedure. Determinants of smoking among the study participants and their knowledge were assessed with the aid of a pre-tested structured questionnaire. Results: The proportions of ever-smokers who could associate cigarette smoking with known health problems were generally low compared to the never-smokers. The mean knowledge score, 4.05 ± 0.4, obtained by the ever-smokers was also lower than the mean score, 6.41 ± 0.2, obtained by the never-smokers. This was found statistically significant (p < 0.05). Smoking behaviour was significantly associated with friends (p = 0.00518) and parents (p = 0.002856) who smoke, and with cigarette advertisement (p = 0.032989). Conclusion: Low level of knowledge, peer and parental influence as well as exposure to cigarette advertisement played significant roles in the adoption of smoking behaviour by the youth. Anti-smoking education and other prevention strategies targeted at the youth, their parents and the media are desirable.
Nigerian Journal of Medicine Vol. 17 (1) 2008 pp. 40-44