Awareness and support for the statewide smoking law among cigarette smokers in Lagos State, Nigeria
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College of Medicine, University of Lagos, Community Health and Primary Care, Nigeria
Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Community Health, Nigeria
Publication date: 2018-03-01
Tob. Induc. Dis. 2018;16(Suppl 1):A181
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Smoke free policies ensures the creation of a smoke free environment by eliminating smoking in a particular space or environment. Support for the legislation of these policies has a positive effect on controlling smoking. In 2014, Lagos State, the commercial capital of Nigeria, the most populous nation in Africa passed a law for the regulation of smoking in public places. This study aimed to assess the awareness and support for the smoking law among cigarette smokers in the state.

The study was a descriptive cross-sectional study conducted among 430 current cigarette smokers selected by convenience sampling from 29 hospitality centers in the state. An interviewer administered questionnaire was used to collect the data.

Majority of the respondents (67%) were not aware of the existence of the law. Among those who were aware of the law, 86% were aware of places where smoking is allowed. Only about 40% were aware that it is a punishable offence to smoke in the presence of a person less than 18years old. The majority (95%) of respondents were supportive of the law as they believe its enactment would effectively reduce the exposure of non-smokers to second hand smoke. There was a statistically significant difference (p< 0.05) between gender, age, educational and employment status and the awareness of the law.

The majority of cigarette smokers were not aware of the existence of the law two years after its passage but were supportive. Increased awareness and enlightenment campaigns should be done to increase the awareness and enforcement of the law.