Trajectories of Cigarette Smoking among Commercial Bus Drivers and University Students in Nigeria

Article excerpt

Cigarette smoking remains a major social development concern in the world today! This is regardless of the fact that many anti-smoking policies have been put in place and they appear to be achieving mixed results. However, much of what is documented in the literature today is on developed societies with established effective anti-smoking policies and practices and reliable data to track effects of interventions. Therefore, not much is known about smoking patterns, processes and dynamics of Africans on the continent, especially Nigerians, relative to cross-sectional and comparative studies that attempt inter-generational linkages in smoking practices. Thus, this article gathered comprehensive primary qualitative, quantitative and secondary data on smoking behaviors of two distinct groups in Nigeria for reliable comprehension of smoking trajectories in Nigeria with implications for Africa. Important findings were made; reliable conclusions were reached while useful recommendations were reported in the article.

Keywords: Cigarette, Warning Labels, Smoking, Commercial Bus Drivers, Undergraduates, Ibadan, Nigeria.

Tobacco remains one of the major threats to the world development in the 21st century. It is even more of a threat to Africa's sustainable development regardless of appreciable success already recorded in anti-tobacco circles across the world particularly in the developed societies. According to the World Health Organization [WHO hereinafter] (2005), tobacco kills one in ten persons globally, and this account for about 5 million deaths per annum. Hence, this estimate is expected to increase to double by 2030. In the next century, deaths from other diseases are likely to continue to decrease; whereas due to the increase in smoking prevalence, there will be catastrophic effects of tobacco (Peto and Lopez, 2000).

It is estimated that tobacco will lead to more deaths than the total combined deaths from malaria, maternal conditions and injuries and the implications of these for sustainable development in terms of capita, economic, social and human loss is bound to be disheartening*. Such catastrophic losses will shift needed efforts and attention from sustainable development to smoking induced crises.

According to the Peto and Lopez estimates, about 100 million people were killed by tobacco in the 20th century and the cumulative number would be 1.3 billion if the current trend in smoking is not effectively halted across the world. Thus aside being a major health problem, tobacco is a formidable sustainable development obstacle. This is more so because consequences of tobacco smoking are major drain on the national financial resources (WHO, 2005). In fact, tobacco is not only a major drain on financial resources of nations as observed by WHO but also physical, environmental, social, psychological and human drains on nations with sustainable development trade-offs as already observed above.

It is noteworthy that most of the tobacco related deaths and development resource loss and trade-offs will occur in developing countries especially Africa. Thus, research questions this article examined include; what are the various cigarette warning labels available to the groups? How do age, price, educational level, workplace ethics and health influence smoking behavior? What are the reasons for smoking? How does awareness/ education influence attitudes towards cigarette warning labels? What is the nature of relationship between attitude, awareness and smoking behavior? Is there a relationship between socioeconomic class and smoking? Is there a relationship between peer pressure and smoking? Is there a relationship between smoking and perceived health hazard? Are there differences between smokers and non-smokers perceived consequences of Cigarette smoking? And what is the perceived risk of smoking?

The Nigerian Cigarette Domains

Nigeria is commonly referred to in the country as a nation flowing with milk and honey. …