Factors Influencing the Onset of Cigarette Smoking among Adolescents in Konduga Local Government Area
Tobacco is the leading preventable cause of death in the United States; responsible for more than 400,000 deaths annually. There have been few reports in the literature about the association between these diseases and cigarette smoking from African countries, which may indicate that these diseases are not common inAfricans. There is a dearth of knowledge about the smoking habit among adolescents and factors influencing it in Africa. This is a survey of the factors influencing the onset of cigarette smoking among adolescents in Konduga local government area. Across-sectional study involving 400 randomly selected subjects from the four districts of the local government who responded to a modified version of the standard WHO questionnaire (WHO/SMO, 1984) for surveying smoking habit. The study showed that friends/peers (57%) as the major factor for initiating the smoking habit in adolescents. Others were pleasure (24%), stress (13%),
family members (4%) and cigarette adverts (1%). The study also revealed that the adolescents continued to smoke even though they were aware of the health consequences of smoking. The majority of the respondents (70%) advocated outright ban on tobacco sales by the government as the most effective way to check this world's major preventable health hazard. The study showed that friends/peer groups were the dominant factor influencing the onset of cigarette smoking among adolescents. This underscores the need for targeting the group in behaviour change communication.