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Free Content Correlates of cigarette smoking among university students in Cameroon

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OBJECTIVE: To determine factors associated with smoking among university students in Cameroon.

DESIGN: A cross-sectional survey was carried out using an anonymous self-administered questionnaire among a convenience sample of 3000 students from three universities (the Université des Montagnes, and the Universities of Douala and Yaounde 1) in Cameroon; 190 students (5.9%) did not consent to the survey. Socio-demographic characteristics and smoking trends were recorded. Logistic regression was used to identify risk factors for smoking.

RESULTS: Of the students selected, 1862 (62%) were male. The mean age was 23.3 years. We found that 30.1% of students had tried smoking and that 5.6% (n = 168) reported regular smoking. Smoking prevalence among male and female students was respectively 9.5% and 1%. The mean age of smokers was 24.1 years. Only 12.5% of regular smokers were nicotine-dependent. Factors motivating smoking were pleasure, imitation, snobbery and curiosity. In the multivariate analysis, smoking was statistically associated with age, male sex, exposure to friends who smoke and living with smokers.

CONCLUSION: Although the prevalence of smoking found in our study was low, effective tobacco control programmes targeting factors such as age, male sex and peer influence should be implemented in universities. Future studies are needed to evaluate the impact of these interventions.

Keywords: Cameroon; epidemiology; smoking; university students

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Department of Internal Medicine, Douala General Hospital, Douala, Cameroon 2: Higher Institute of Health Sciences, Université des Montagnes, Bangangte, Cameroon 3: Faculty of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, University of Yaounde 1, Yaounde, Cameroon

Publication date: 2013-02-01

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  • The International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease publishes articles on all aspects of lung health, including public health-related issues such as training programmes, cost-benefit analysis, legislation, epidemiology, intervention studies and health systems research. The IJTLD is dedicated to the continuing education of physicians and health personnel and the dissemination of information on tuberculosis and lung health world-wide.

    Certain IJTLD articles are selected for translation into French, Spanish, Chinese or Russian. They are available on the Union website

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