To assess tobacco use among school-going adolescents and delineate determinants of their tobacco-use status. The study utilizes Global Youth Tobacco Survey data collected in 2006 (9,990 unweighted; 773,982 weighted). Univariate and bivariate analyses were performed to determine the relationship between the dependent (tobacco-use status) and independent variables. Logistic regression analyses were conducted to identify the key determinants of tobacco use among adolescents in Ghana. The gap in tobacco use between males and females was narrow (6.7% vs. 4.4% for ever cigarette smoker; 2.4% vs. 1.4% for current cigarette smoker; 6.8% vs. 5.2% for user of noncigarette tobacco products). Youth tobacco use was significantly associated with exposure to tobacco industry promotions and tobacco-use behavior of familial relations. Conversely, knowledge about the harmful effects of secondhand smoke was associated with decreased likelihood of tobacco use; however, it was significant only for users of noncigarette tobacco products. The narrow gap in tobacco use among school-going adolescents in a country where tobacco-use prevalence among adult males is more than 10 times that of females is a major policy concern. Additionally, the finding that about 15% of students have either acquired tobacco-branded merchandise or been offered a free cigarette suggest that tobacco marketing is reaching adolescents in the country, which demands urgent policy response. Dealing with such problems requires a comprehensive ban on tobacco industry advertising and promotion and marketing strategies, and policies that restrict youth access to and demand for tobacco products.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health