Prevalence and correlates of cigarette smoking among adolescents in Malawi: results from the Global Youth Tobacco Survey 2005
The majority of adults who smoke cigarettes initiated the habit when they were adolescents or young adults. While rates of smoking and associated factors are known among 13-15 year olds in Malawi, correlates of cigarette smoking among adolescents in a national representative sample in Malawi have not been studied. We, therefore, carried out this study to estimate the prevalence of current smoking and determine its correlates in a nationally representative sample of in-school adolescents in Malawi. An analysis of the Malawi Global Youth Tobacco Survey (GYTS) 2005 was conducted. Using logistic regression analysis, we estimated the association between current cigarette smoking and potential explanatory variables. Overall, 2.5% of adolescents (3.2% among males, and 1.8% among females) were current cigarette smokers. Smoking among parents was 9.6% with no significant difference between males and females (10.3% versus 10.1%). Stronger associations with smoking were observed for friends smoking status (AOR=3.07, 95%CI 2.99, 3.16), receiving pocket money (AOR=3.06, 95%CI 2.98, 3.14), and perception that smoking increases body weight (AOR=2.98, 95%CI 2.81, 3.16). Students who thought that cigarette smoking is harmful to health were 56% (AOR=0.44, 95%CI 0.43, 0.45) less likely to smoke than students who thought otherwise. Despite being the world's second leading grower of tobacco, the prevalence of cigarette smoking among adolescent is lower than has been reported elsewhere.
Keywords: in-school adolescent, cigarette smoking, Malawi
Tanzania Journal of Health Research Vol. 10 (3) 2008: pp. 166-176