Prevalence and factors influencing cigarette smoking among young adults in a tertiary institution in Borno State, Nigeria
Objectives: Tobacco use, a preventable cause of morbidity and mortality, kills over 3.5 million people worldwide each year. Adverse effects of tobacco smoking on general health and longevity are well documented. WHO states that out of the 1.22 billion smokers, 1 billion live in developing and transitional economies. Epidemiological studies among different University students showed marked variation in the prevalence of smoking. The current study was aimed at finding the prevalence of smoking and factors influencing it among young adults in a tertiary institution in Borno State, northeast Nigeria and to find whether there is a change in the trend from previous studies. Factors influencing the onset of smoking habits among adolescents were investigated with peer-group/friends as the single most important contributory factor.
Methods: A descriptive, cross-sectional survey of 400 undergraduate students of the University, carried out over six weeks using a structured, researcher-administered questionnaire.
Result: Forty-eight percent of the respondents fall within the age group of 20-24 years and majority of them (76%) were male. The prevalence of those of them currently smoking was 11.5%. The major reason for initiating the smoking habit amongst the undergraduates was peer group influence observed in over 60% of respondents.
Conclusion: The prevalence of current smokers among university students in Maiduguri is relatively low. Peer influence still plays an integral role in sustaining the habit and it can be targeted to further decrease the trend.
Keywords: Cigarette, smoking, prevalence, tertiary, adults