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Afr J Med Med Sci. 2003 Dec;32(4):335-8.

Prevalence of cigarette smoking in young Nigerian females.

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  • 1Department of Community Medicine, Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital, Nnewi, Anambra State, Nigeria.


Cigarette smoking is a very important public health problem globally, with patterns of smoking varying in different regions of the world. The negative impact of smoking on health is well known but the increasing rate of smoking amongst the youth including females is note worthy. The objective of this study is to determine the prevalence of smoking in young Nigerian females with a view to defining the size of this social problem and outlining possible control measures. The setting for the study was secondary (post-primary) schools in Anambra State, South east of Nigeria. The study, a cross-sectional survey, involved eight (8) schools selected by multistage sampling technique. A Structured questionnaire was designed for the study. A total of 1,200 female secondary school students were involved. The mean age of the respondents was 16.06 +/- 1.36 years. The main religious denominations were Roman Catholic 69.7%, Anglicans 23.6%, Pentecostal 5.7%, Islam 0.4% and others 0.4%. Ninety two point seven percent (92.7%) were single, 2.9% were married and 4.4% engaged. Fifty seven point four percent (57.4%) were day students while 42.6% were boarders. Smoking prevalence was 7.7%. Smoking was started at the mean age of 12.6 +/- 3.8 years. The number of cigarettes smoked per day has a median of 2 sticks, Marital status significantly affected smoking prevalence as the married had more tendency to smoke than the unmarried. Though the number of day students who smoked were more than the boarders, the significance could not be demonstrated statistically due to the small number of subjects who smoke. Parents educational status did not show any significant influence on the smoking habit. We conclude that the prevalence of cigarette smoking in young Nigerian females is relatively low. Intervention at this stage will be timely but effective strategies to curb the habit will require identification of other factors that may be contributing to the social menace.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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