Academic journal article The Qualitative Report

Critical Ethnography: A Useful Methodology in Conducting Health Research in Different Resource Settings

Academic journal article The Qualitative Report

Critical Ethnography: A Useful Methodology in Conducting Health Research in Different Resource Settings

Article excerpt

Smokers in Nigeria that participated in this study reflect on smoking and the effect thereof. One participant shared, "I feel relaxed while smoking, it is a form of relaxation, I don't feel angry even if I am angry, it stops while smoking." Another participant stated how smoking relieves stress for him, "It allows me to relax and makes me feel cool, also at times when I am stressed up it helps me to cool down." It is important to note that several participants described the benefits of smoking in terms of how smoking relieves them from stress. The following narratives demonstrate that participants describe the experience in the following ways: (a) "It helps me to relax most especially when I am stressed up, some kind of situation your mood requires you taking a cigarette to feel cool;" and (b) "It makes me feel relaxed, and at times there are some things I want to do and I want to get high to achieve some particular things, since I don't drink so I have to take some sticks. Like if I am tired I just take 2 sticks or if I am working it makes me work faster."

In contrast, the healthcare professionals reflected on what can be done to reduce smoking prevalence in Nigeria. Health professionals who work in the area of tobacco control in Nigeria and who participated in this study suggested ways in which the prevalence of smoking can be reduced. A participant made an important point often ignored in the public health industry; that is, it is important to understand the strategy of the tobacco industry in order for public health professionals to have an edge in combating the tobacco industry strategies. He expressed it this way:

   We must first look at what tobacco industry used to increase the
   volume of smokers in Nigeria. We need to understand that Nigeria is
   a country of over 150 million people and we have a very young
   population and they see the country as one that does not have law.
   What we need to do is to create an enabling legal instrument; we
   need a legal frame work that will ban the advertisement,
   sponsorship and promotion.

Another participant suggested an awareness of the harm from cigarette smoking aimed at the population:

   We need a lot of awareness in the country especially for our policy
   makers, everything kills, even a cup of tea can kill, but people
   have not been able to appreciate the depth of the danger or hazard
   in smoking to be able to take action, we are doing as much as we
   can do but this country is a big one. I see people who smoke as
   victims of tobacco industry manipulation so they really need
   counseling.

Background: Smoking in Nigeria

The main inquiry underpinning the study of the Public Health Challenge of Smoking in Nigeria is to present research on smoking in Nigeria using critical ethnography. The World Health Organization (WHO), a source of authority on health and smoking, is offering assistance and suggestions to developing countries in Africa and elsewhere. Similarly, the WHO is seeking strategies to effectively reduce smoking and smoking-related deaths and diseases in the population. Smoking accounts for a large proportion of deaths in the world (WHO, 1997). The World Health Organization estimates that there are about 1.1 billion smokers in the world and 70% of tobacco deaths in 2020 will be in developing countries. In February, 2008 WHO released the World Tobacco Epidemic Report. This report outlines evidence-based facts that the tobacco epidemic is worsening and recommends a comprehensive package of six tobacco control policies--the MPOWER. The MPOWER stands for the following: monitor tobacco use and prevention policies, protect people from tobacco use, offer help to quit tobacco use, warn about the dangers of tobacco use, enforce bans on tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship, and raise taxes on tobacco. According to the World Health Organization, these policies work in any population towards helping to control the diseases, deaths and economic harm caused by the use of tobacco (WHO, 2008). …

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