Assessment of pattern of cigarette smoking and associated factors among male students in public secondary schools in Anambra State, Nigeria.

ABSTRACT The WHO has estimated that there are about 1300 million smokers globally and about 75 of these are in the developing countries. It is also predicted that if the current pattern of smoking continues, by 2020, there will be 10 million tobacco-related deaths annually worldwide and seven million (70%) of these deaths will occur in the developing countries. The objective of the study was to assess the cigarette smoking pattern and associated factors among male students in public secondary schools in Anambra State.
The setting was public secondary schools in Anambra State. The study was in April 2008. It was a cross-sectional survey involving six schools, selected by multistage sampling technique. Eight hundred and fifty male students participated in the study. A semistructured self-administered questionnaire was used. Qualitative data were collected using focus group discussion (FGD).
The mean age of respondents was 16 +/- 2.1 years. The ever-smoked and current smoking prevalence were 13.1% and 8.7% respectively. Mean age of commencement of cigarette smoking 13.7 +/- 2.6 years. Among smokers, 37.8% were dai smokers. Television (40.7%) and radio (33.3%) were the main sources of advertisement. Peer influence (34.2%) was the main reason for uptake of cigarette smoking. Major reason for not smoking among non-smokers was health concerns (57.9%). There were significant associations between smoking status and age of respondents (2 = 25.08; P = < 0.05), father's smoking status (2 = 158.77, P < 0.05), awareness of health hazards of smoking (2 = 5.13, P = 0.023) and advertisement on television (2 = 4.05, P = 0.044) and billboards (2 = 44.39, P < 0.05).
Cigarette smoking prevalence among secondary school boys in Anambra State is high. Health education and strict implementation of anti-smoking policies of the federal government of Nigeria is recommended.