Prevalence and associated factors of smoking among secondary school students in Harare Zimbabwe
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Biomedical Research and Training Institute, Harare, Zimbabwe
Department of Community Medicine, College of Heath Sciences, University of Zimbabwe, Harare, Zimbabwe
Tsitsi Bandason   

Biomedical Research and Training Institute, Harare, Zimbabwe
Submission date: 2010-02-19
Acceptance date: 2010-10-27
Publication date: 2010-10-27
Tobacco Induced Diseases 2010;8(October):12
There is a growing epidemic of tobacco use among adolescents in the developing world. However, there is no up to date information on smoking among adolescents. Although in the developing world concerted efforts are being made to control tobacco use, Zimbabwe does not have any documented tobacco control programmes. We estimated the prevalence of smoking among school going secondary school students in Harare, Zimbabwe.

A 3-stage stratified random sampling was employed to select six participating schools and students. A descriptive analysis was conducted to describe the demographic characteristics of the participants. The prevalence of smoking was estimated and the comparison of prevalence was performed according to its associated factors. Logistic regression analysis was used to identify risk factors for smoking.

650 students with a mean age 16 years and 47% of them female participated. Prevalence of ever-smoked was 28.8% (95% CI 25.3 to 32.3). Prevalence of ever-smoked among males (37.8%) was significantly (p < 0.001) much higher than among females (18.5%). In the multivariate analysis, smoking was found to be statistically associated with having friends that smoke (OR 2.8), getting involved in physical fights (OR 2.3), alcohol use (OR 5.7), marijuana use (OR 8.1) and having had sexual intercourse (OR 4.4).

The Framework Convention on Tobacco Control includes provisions both on tobacco taxation policy and on protection of public health policy from vested interests of tobacco industry. This paper provides arguments why tobacco taxation policy should also be protected from vested interests of tobacco industry. TTCs taxation strategy appears to be consistent: keep excise as low as possible. Apparent conflicts between TTCs concerning tax structures often hide their real aim to change tax structures for competing interests without increasing total tax incidence. Governments, that aim to reduce levels of tobacco use, should not allow tobacco companies to influence the development and implementation of tobacco taxation policy.

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