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The factors associated with cigarette smoking among young adults (16-25 years) in South Africa.

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Cigarette smoking is a worldwide health concern and evidence of the impact it has on the health of smokers and non-smokers is indisputable. Young adults are a “risk prone” segment of populations, as young smokers may underestimate the risk of tobacco addiction and are often uninformed about the dangers of smoking. In addition, tobacco smoking in developing countries is a bourgeoning epidemic that requires further research. The study design of this dissertation was a secondary analysis of the existing National Income Dynamics Survey (NIDS) data. The first nationally representative cohort study (wave 1) was conducted in South Africa in 2008, with wave 3 in 2012. A sample of 5528 for wave 1 and 6155 for wave 3 of young adults (aged 16-25) was used. The dependent variable was reporting to have “Ever smoked regularly” and independent variables included age, gender, population group, geographic location, education and economic variables. The study found that among young adults in South Africa, the percentage of young smokers has remained relatively unchanged between the two NIDS waves. Participants reported that they started smoking in their mid- to late- teens, and smoked an average of 7 cigarettes a day. Smoking was more prevalent in males and was positively associated with age. Smoking was particular prevalent among the Coloured population group. People in urban areas were more likely to smoke and education had a mitigating effect on smoking prevalence. Smoking in young adults remains an important problem in South Africa and there is an urgent need for further research into developing creative anti-smoking strategies and interventions that are culturally and linguistically appropriate. Research that informs these programmes can reduce youth smoking and have long-term benefits for public health.


Masters in population studies university of KwaZulu-Natal Howard College campus Durban,2018.