Background: Cigarette smoking is the single most important preventable cause of non-infectious diseases. There is limited data on adolescent smoking and its determinants in developing countries.
Methods: Further analysis was done on data collected in the Global Youth Tobacco Survey conducted among school-going adolescents in Lusaka, Zambia in 2002. Weighted logistic regression analyses were performed to determine associations between selected explanatory factors and ever smoked cigarettes.
Results: A total of 2175 students participated in the study out of which 40.1% (95%CI 39.5-40.7%) had ever smoked cigarettes. The prevalence of ever smoked cigarettes was 43.4% (95%CI 42.6-44.2%) among boys, and 35.6% (95%CI 34.8-36.4%) among girls, (p<0.001). Among both boys and girls, history of having ever smoked cigarettes was associated with having a parent or closest friend who smoked. Among girls only, exposure to pro-tobacco advertisement and positive perception towards smoking were associated with ever smoked cigarettes. Adolescent girls who doubted that smoking was harmful to their health were more likely to have ever smoked.
Conclusions: Public health interventions aimed to prevent teenage adolescent smoking should incorporate a comprehensive understanding of the determinants of smoking.