Prevalence and determinants of adolescent tobacco smoking in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

BMC Public Health. 2007 Jul 25:7:176. doi: 10.1186/1471-2458-7-176.


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.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent Behavior / psychology*
  • Adult
  • Advertising
  • Developing Countries
  • Ethiopia / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Friends / psychology
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Parents / psychology
  • Prevalence
  • Smoking / epidemiology*
  • Smoking / psychology
  • Smoking Prevention
  • Students / psychology
  • Tobacco Industry