Sunday, July 14, 2024

Study calls for strengthening of policies to reduce smoking

A study by some local researchers has found that men, people with no education and primary level education and alcohol users were more likely to report current tobacco smoking.

The study by Mpho Keetile, Kagiso Ndlovu, Naomi Setshegetso, Sanni Yaya & Fattimah Serojane also indicates the need to strengthen existing national policies to reduce harmful use of tobacco among men, women, older adults, no or primary education level individuals and alcohol users.

The study whose objective was to assess the prevalence of tobacco use and identify its correlates in the general population of Botswana aged 15 to 69 years, shows that from a total sample of 4062 participants the prevalence of current tobacco smoking was estimated to be 12.9% while smokeless tobacco use was 3.2%.

Adjusted results indicate that the odds of current tobacco smoking were eight times higher among males compared to their female counterparts; six and three times higher among respondents with no education and primary level education respectively, compared to their counterparts with tertiary or higher education; while for alcohol users the odds of current tobacco smoking were four times higher than among non-alcohol users.

The odds of smokeless tobacco use were significantly higher among women compared to men (individuals aged 50-59 and 60-69 years compared to 15-29 years; individuals with no education and primary education compared to individuals with tertiary education. However, the odds of smokeless tobacco use were significantly lower among individuals who consume alcohol compared to non-alcohol consumers.

The adjusted logistic regression model results indicates that the odds of current tobacco smoking were more than eight times higher among males compared to their female counterparts. On the other hand, the odds of current tobacco smoking were significantly low among individuals in ages 60-69 compared to people in ages 15-29 years, while for other age groups there were no variations in current tobacco smoking compared to individual aged 15-29 years. On the other hand, the odds of current tobacco smoking were six and three times higher among individuals with no education and primary education level, respectively, compared to their counterparts with tertiary or higher education. The odds of current tobacco smoking were four times higher among people who consumed alcohol in the past 12 months compared to those who did not consume alcohol in the past 12 months. There was no significant variation between current tobacco smoking based on the marital status, employment status and access to information about the dangers of smoking in the past 30 days.

Sex differences were observed in current tobacco smoking, with men eight times more likely to report current tobacco smoking compared to women.

For education, the researchers found that people with no education or primary education were more likely to report current tobacco smoking compared to their counterparts with tertiary or higher education. Similarly, smokeless tobacco use was found to be significantly higher among individuals with no education or primary education.

“We found that people who reported alcohol use were four times more likely to smoke tobacco. Consistent with this study, many studies have found that alcohol consumption and tobacco smoking are closely related behaviours,” the study says.  Thus, not only are the people who drink alcohol more likely to smoke (and vice versa) but also people who drink larger amounts of alcohol tend to smoke more tobacco products.

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