Friday Akwagiobe Odey, Ita Bassey Okokon, Jude Ogbeche Ogbeche, Godwin Terver Jombo, Emmanuel Eyo Ekanem
The global prevalence of cigarette smoking is incre asing especially in developing countries where 80% of tobacco deaths occur. This study was undertaken to determine the prevalence of cigarette smoking among adolescents in Calabar, Nigeria. This was a c ross sectional study of smoking among apparently healthy adolescents between the ages of 10 – 18 yea rs. Demographic data and smoking habits were obtained from secondary school students over a two month period. Cigarette smoking was defined as smoking at least one stick of cigarette a week. Dat a generated was entered into EPI-INFO and analyzed. Four hundred and fifty-eight students were screened and 375 participants were enrolled. The prevalence of cigarette smoking among the study par ticipants was 6.4%. The prevalence of cigarette smoking was higher among males (13.0%) than females (2.1%) and the difference was statistically significant (p <0.001). The prevalence of obesity w as 1.9%. There was no statistical difference betwee n the social classes and cigarette smoking (p = 0.52) . The prevalence of cigarette smoking in this adolescent population is of public health importanc e. Enforcement of legislation that bans sale of cigarette to children and adolescents among other m easures, such as health education, are possible ways of preventing the epidemic in this environment .
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