Tobacco products use among secondary school students in Uganda
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Gulu University, Uganda
Publication date: 2018-03-01
Tob. Induc. Dis. 2018;16(Suppl 1):A791
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To determine the experience, exposure, access and current use tobacco products use among secondary schools in Uganda.
Study question: what is the level of use of tobacco products among secondry school students in Uganda?
Problem statement: Uganda is struggling with tobacco control. The young people are the major target for tobacco companies. Early use of tobacco leads to continued use and thence tobacco related diseases whose cost of treatment outweighs government revenue.

Cross-sectional study, involving 1470 students between 14-21 years, selected using randomised cluster sampling from 21 schools in three regions of Uganda. Data collected using structured questionnaire google form administered to the responders by trained interviewers, results accessed as EXCEL tables which were transferred to SPSS version 23 for analysis. Univariate analysis was done.

Total of 795 students have been interviewed, 498 (64.1%) boys, mean age 16.7 years. 134 (17%) experimented with smoking, majority 50 (37.3%) having tried it before the age of 12 years. 40 (5.5%) were currently using a tobacco product. Yet majority 730 (95.9) were aware of tobacco use harm, still 214 students had been passive smokers in concluded week yet 702 (95.4%) were aware of the harm of passive smoking. 552 (77.4%) were in favour of banning the sell and use of tobacco products in public places, yet of the 65 students who tempted to purchase a tobacco product, 43 of them were successful because irrespective of their low age, this did not limit them from buying it. 716 (93.7%) had been taught about the dangers of tobacco smoking.

Tobacco exposure is high among students yet they know the harm. Proper policies and measures should be put in place to limit this. This study was able to show the burden of tobacco use among students and how measures like education are not proving effective in its control.