Background: Tobacco is a leading cause of death globally. There are limited reports on current cigarette smoking prevalence and its associated-antismoking messages among adolescents in conflict zones of the world. We, therefore, conducted secondary analysis of data to estimate the prevalence of current cigarette smoking, and to determine associations of antismoking messages with smoking status.
Methods: We used data from the Somaliland Global Youth Tobacco Survey (GYTS) of 2004 to estimate the prevalence of smoking. We also assessed whether being exposed to anti-smoking media, education and having discussed with family members on the harmful effects of smoking were associated with smoking. Logistic regression analysis was used to assess these associations. Current smoking was defined as having reported smoking cigarettes, even a single puff, in the last 30 days preceding the survey (main outcome).
Results: Altogether 1563 adolescents participated in the survey. However, 1122 had data on the main outcome. Altogether, 15.8% of the respondents reported having smoked cigarettes (10.3% among males, and 11.1% among females). Factors that were associated with reported non-smoking were: discussing harmful effects of smoking cigarettes with their family members (OR = 0.61, 95% CI 0.52, 0.71); being taught that smoking makes teeth yellow, causes wrinkles and smokers smell badly (OR = 0.62, 95% CI 0.52, 0.74); being taught that people of the respondent's age do not smoke (OR = 0.81, 95% CI 0.69, 0.95); and having reported that religious organizations discouraged young people smoking (OR = 0.70, 95% CI 0.60, 0.82). However, exposure to a lot many antismoking messages at social gatherings was associated with smoking. Exposure to antismoking print media was not associated with smoking status.
Conclusion: A combination of school and home based antismoking interventions may be effective in controlling adolescent smoking in Somaliland.