Background: Tobacco smoking is a growing public health problem in the developing world. There is paucity of data on smoking and predictors of smoking among school-going adolescents in most of sub-Saharan Africa. Hence, the aim of this study is to estimate the prevalence of smoking and its associations among school-going adolescents in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Methods: Data from the Global Youth Tobacco Survey (GYTS) 2003 were used to determine smoking prevalence, determinants, attitudes to, and exposure to tobacco advertisements among adolescents.
Results: Of the 1868 respondents, 4.5% males and 1% females reported being current smokers (p < 0.01). Having smoking friends was strongly associated with smoking after controlling for age, gender, parental smoking status, and perception of risks of smoking (OR = 33; 95% CI [11.6, 95.6]). Male gender and having one or both smoking parents were associated with smoking. Perception that smoking is harmful was negatively associated with being a smoker (odds ratio 0.3; 95% confidence interval, 0.2-0.5)
Conclusion: Prevalence of smoking among adolescents in Ethiopia is lower than in many other African countries. There is however need to strengthen anti-tobacco messages especially among adolescents.