A cross-country comparison of secondhand smoke exposure in public places among adults in five African countries - The Global Adult Tobacco Survey, 2012 - 2015
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Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, United States of America
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Georgia
Publication date: 2018-03-01
Tob. Induc. Dis. 2018;16(Suppl 1):A150
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Secondhand smoke (SHS) causes approximately 600,000 deaths annually worldwide. Timely surveillance can inform the development and enforcement of comprehensive smoke-free policies in indoor public places; yet, in many African countries, there is limited data on SHS exposure in this environment. This study examined self-reported SHS exposure in public places in five African countries.

Data from the Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS) were analyzed for Cameroon (2013), Kenya (2014), Nigeria (2012), Senegal (2015), and Uganda (2013). GATS is a standardized, nationally representative household survey of individuals aged ≥15 years. Point prevalence estimates for past 30-day SHS exposure were assessed for the following environments: bars/nightclubs, restaurants, government buildings, public transportation, and healthcare facilities. Analyses were restricted to persons who reported visiting each environment. Estimates were calculated separately for all adults and nonsmokers; nonsmokers were defined as those who answered “not at all” to the question, “Do you currently smoke tobacco on a daily basis, less than daily, or not at all?” Data were weighted and analyzed using SPSS V.24.

Among all adults who visited each environment, country-specific SHS exposure ranged as follows: bars/nightclubs, 86.1% (Kenya) to 62.3% (Uganda); restaurants, 31.9% (Cameroon) to 16.0% (Uganda); government buildings, 24.2% (Senegal) to 5.7 % (Uganda); public transportation, 22.9% (Cameroon) to 7.8% (Uganda); and healthcare facilities, 10.2% (Senegal) to 4.5% (Uganda). SHS exposure among nonsmokers was as follows: bars/nightclubs, 85.6% (Kenya) to 60.9% (Uganda); restaurants, 32.0% (Cameroon) to 16.1% (Uganda); government buildings, 24.2% (Senegal) to 5.8 % (Uganda); public transportation, 22.2% (Cameroon) to 7.7% (Uganda); and healthcare facilities, 9.9% (Senegal) to 4.5% (Uganda).

In the assessed African countries, SHS exposure was lowest in healthcare facilities and highest in bars/nightclubs. Smoke-free policies in indoor public places, consistent with the World Health Organization's MPOWER framework, are important to protect nonsmokers from SHS exposure.