Cigarette smoking among Southern Nigerian youth and what geopolitical zones got to do with it

Catherine O. Egbe*, Elizabeth O. Egbochuku, Inge Petersen, Anna Meyer-Weitz

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Cigarette smoking is a known public health challenge given the number of tobacco-related diseases. Research is needed to constantly evaluate smoking prevalence in particular settings like Nigeria with projections of increasing smoking uptake. This study examined the smoking behaviour of the young people in Southern Nigeria in relation to their demographic and socio-economic attributes like gender, age, employment status and educational attainment. Intentions to quit and quit attempts of current smokers were also explored. A cross-sectional survey was conducted with 550 respondents aged 18–24 years in three categories: students, skilled and unskilled workers using a modified version of the global youth tobacco survey questionnaire. Chi-square tests were used to explore associations between relevant variables. Participants were recruited using a multi-stage non-probability sampling technique. The software Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) version 19 was used in the analysis of the data. Prevalence of active smokers was 29.7% (n = 160) while 40% (n = 224) of the respondents had experimented with smoking. Nearly half of the smokers (43.8%, n = 70) smoke between two and five cigarettes per day. Smokers were more likely to be males, unskilled workers and reside in or come from the South-East geopolitical zone of Nigeria. About a third of current smokers (34.4%, n = 55) indicated an intention to quit while 39.4% (n = 63) attempted to quit in the year prior to the study. There is an urgent need to implement the National Tobacco Control Act 2015 in Nigeria. This will reduce youth access and stop the targeted marketing of young people by Tobacco multinationals in Nigeria.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)251-262
Number of pages12
JournalVulnerable Children and Youth Studies
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jul 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Nigeria
  • cigarette smoking
  • geopolitical zone
  • smoking behaviour
  • youth


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