Never-Smoking Adolescents’ Exposure to Secondhand Smoke in Africa

Daniel Owusu, Hadii M. Mamudu, Rijo M. John, Abdallah Ibrahim, Ahmed E.O. Ouma, Sreenivas P. Veeranki

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    13 Scopus citations


    Introduction Though Africa is in Stage 1 of the tobacco epidemic, lack of effective public smoking laws or political will implies that secondhand smoke (SHS) exposure may be high in youth. The study objective is to estimate prevalence and identify determinants of SHS exposure among never-smoker adolescents in Africa and make cross-country comparisons. Methods Pooled data from the Global Youth Tobacco Surveys conducted in 25 African countries during 2006–2011 were used. Based on the venue of exposure in past 7 days, SHS was categorized into exposure inside, outside, and overall exposure (either inside or outside of the home), respectively. Data were analyzed in 2015 using logistic regression models to identify factors related to SHS exposure in three venues. Results About 21% and 39% of adolescents were exposed to SHS inside or outside of the home, with overall exposure of 45%. In all 25 African countries, parental smoking was significantly associated with SHS exposure inside the home (ORs ranging from 3.02 [95% CI=2.0, 4.5] to 14.65 [95% CI=10.0, 21.5]). Peer smoking was associated with SHS exposure outside the home in 18 countries (ORs ranging from 1.45 [95% CI=1.0, 2.1] to 3.00 [95% CI=1.8, 5.1]). Parental smoking, peer smoking, and anti-smoking messages in media were identified as three major factors associated with SHS exposure. Conclusions A significant proportion of never-smoking adolescents in Africa are exposed to SHS, suggesting the need for countries to adopt policies to protect never smokers through the implementation of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)983-998
    Number of pages16
    JournalAmerican Journal of Preventive Medicine
    Issue number6
    StatePublished - Dec 1 2016

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Epidemiology
    • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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