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Pan Afr Med J. 2018 Jun 25;30:166. doi: 10.11604/pamj.2018.30.166.14771. eCollection 2018.

Socio-economic and demographic determinants of tobacco use in Kenya: findings from the Kenya Demographic and Health Survey 2014.

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School of Economics, University of Nairobi, Kenya.
Economic and Health Policy Research, American Cancer Society, Inc, 250 Williams Street, Atlanta, GA 30303, USA.
Faculty of Medicine, McGill University, School of Physical and Occupational Therapy, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.



Every year, more than 6,000 Kenyans die of tobacco related diseases (79 men and 37 women die per week), while more than 220,000 children and more than 2,737,000 adults continue to use tobacco each day. Some suggest that these numbers will rise without concerted efforts to strengthen the implementation of tobacco control measures. To date, there remains much to be learned about what contributes to tobacco consumption in Kenya. This study analyses the socio-economic and demographic determinants of tobacco use in Kenya.


To analyze the determinants of tobacco use in Kenya, this study uses the 2014 Kenya Demographic and Health Survey. A logistic regression is used to estimate the probability of an individual smoking, given a set of socio-economic and demographic characteristics.


Results suggest that the overall smoking and smokeless prevalence rate is 17.3% and 3.10% respectively among men. Women have low rates with smoking and smokeless prevalence standing at 0.18% and 0.93% respectively. However, for both genders, tobacco use is influenced by age, marital status, residence, region, educational status and gender.


Socio-economic, demographic and geographic disparities on tobacco use should be explored in order to ensure prudent allocation of resources used for tobacco control initiatives. Allocation of resources for tobacco control including monitoring advertisements, sales to underage persons and general distribution of human resource for tobacco control should be based on socio-economic and demographic dynamics.


Tobacco use; prevalence; tobacco control

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