Cigarette Smoking Prevalence and Awareness of Health Problems of Tobacco use among Students of Colleges of Education in a North-Central State of Nigeria
AbstractCigarette smoking poses a major challenge not just to health, but also to socio-economic development and environmental sustainability. This descriptive epidemiolo-gical study was conducted among 560 students of
Colleges of Education in North-Central region of Nigeria to assess the awareness of health problems associated with cigarette smoking and smoking habits of the respondents. Multistage sampling technique was adopted and self administered questionnaire was used as the data collection instrument for the study. The response rate was 91.3%. Many respondents (88.3%) were aware of health problems of cigarette smoking. There was knowledge gap on specific smoking related health problems among the respondents as only 11.4% knew that increased blood
pressure is associated with cigarette smoking and that passive smokers were also affected by cigarette smoking in various ways. One quarter of the respondents had smoked cigarette at one time or the other and the ratio of male: female was 4:1. Among the respondents that ever smoked cigarette; 80.9% of them were current smokers. More than one-third of current smokers (35.3%) had intention to continue cigarette smoking. A higher proportion of current smokers (52.0%) smoked cigarette on daily basis. One-third of current smokers started smoking cigarette before they were 15 years. More than one-quarter (28.4%) of current smokers had smoked for more than ten years. There is urgent need for incorporation of smoking prevention education in the training of this category of students
who are potential teachers, mentors and role models so that they can be equipped with necessary knowledge to train the young ones on the dangers of smoking.