CAUSES AND EFFECTS OF CIGARETTE SMOKING AMONG SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS
1.1Background to the Study
Cigarette smoking is an important health hazard and a major preventable cause of morbidity and mortality. Despite the fact that the hazards of smoking are well known the number of young people who take up cigarette smoking still seems to be on the increase particularly in developing countries (CDC,2009)
The World Health Organisation (WHO) states that "Much of the disease burden and premature mortality attributable to tobacco use disproportionately affect the poor". Of the 1.22 billion smokers, 1 billion of them live in developing or transitional economies. Rates of smoking have leveled off or declined in the developed world (CDC,1994). Cigarette smoking is the commonest form of tobacco use and in developed countries accounting for at least 80% of overall tobacco consumption (CDC,2009) while several studies in developed countries had shown a decrease in cigarette among the older age groups; it is not the same in the younger populations. In the developing countries the prevalence among the youths seems to be on the increase (CDC,2009). In ranking addictive drugs, nicotine was determined to be more addictive than heroine, cocaine, alcohol, caffeine and marijuana (Pearse,1976). Early onset of smoking leads to more active years of smoking with its health hazards. It is therefore important for researchers in the western world as well as developing countries to study cigarette smoking among the youths and the factors that leads to its onset. This is also in agreement with the World Health Organization (WHO) demand for more efforts and cooperation among health advocates and practitioner in reversing the current trend in Tobacco use (Pearse,1976). To be able to contribute to this global effort, we set out to study the current cigarette smoking habits among students of senior secondary schools in Lagos, south West Nigeria. Although several studies (Alaikija,1984) had been done among various categories of students in Nigeria, there is need to redefine the present magnitude of cigarette smoking among the young people in Nigeria particularly in an urban, densely populated and cosmopolitan city of Lagos .it is also important to identify those prevailing factors that lead to initiation and continuation of cigarette smoking in this group of people. In addition, it is expected that the findings will provide needed information that may aid further policy formulations for effective tobacco control in Nigeria.
In Nigeria, more than half (57.5%) of the former daily smokers had stopped smoking for 10 years or longer. Almost half (45.4%) of all smokers aged 15 years or above had made an attempt to quit smoking in the past 12 months. Six out of ten current smokers who attempted to quit smoking in the past 12 months tried to quit without any assistance. Six out of ten (61.2%) current smokers who had visited a health care provider in the past 12 months received advice to quit smoking from the provider. Overall, only 1 in 3 (35.6%) current smokers planned to or were thinking about quitting smoking in the next 12 months. An estimated 17.3% (2.7 million) of adults who worked indoors had been exposed to secondhand smoke in their workplace in the past 30 days; for non-smokers the estimate was 16.2% (2.4 million). An estimated 6.6% (5.2 million) of adults in Nigeria were exposed to secondhand smoke at home. Among non-smokers, the estimated prevalence of such exposure was 4.6% (3.5 million): 3.7% for men (1.4 million) and 5.4% for women (2.1 million). Among adults who had visited different public places in the past 30 days, 29.3% (27.6% of nonsmokers) were exposed to secondhand smoke in restaurants; 9.4% (9.0%, non-smokers) in public transportation; 16.7% (16.4%, non-smokers) in government buildings; and 5.3% (5.2%, non-smokers) in health‑care facilities.
1.2Statement of the Problem
It is evident that cigarette smoking is still a problem in Nigerian secondary schools despite the various measures taken to curb it. Cigarette smoking menace has strangled youthful population both secondary school students and non-students reducing them to dummies, zombies and drooling figures as well as wasting their lives at the age which they are most needed in society (Ngesu, et al 2008). Although the youth have been educated on the dangers of the cigarette smoking, most of the secondary school students have little or no knowledge of how dangerous the vice is (Ngesu et al 2008).
Although students are expected to be aware of the effects of cigarette smoking and commit themselves to their studies, the habit still exists.
Cigarette smoking lead to many problems in schools especially strikes which are normally experienced in schools although many people attribute the strikes to school mocks especially in the second term of the academic calendar. Some of the known incidents include those at High School where prefects were burnt in the dormitory, Kyanguli secondary where many boys were killed. It is possible that students who abuse drugs while in school play a big role in influencing acts like strikes as they are under the influence of drugs.
Although several researchers have preventive measures suggested, the researchers have not effectively led to the desired results of curbing the menace of Cigarette smoking in Nigerian secondary schools. This is because apart from the youth facing a lot of challenges as individuals, the family and society including the church and school have not come out wholly to initiate methods of helping the youngsters.
There is always a conflict of interest on who has the upper hand in helping the youth. It was against this background that this study investigated the causes and effects of cigarette smoking among secondary school students inUyo metropolis and suggested pragmatic measures to effectively curb this menace.
1.3Purpose of the Study
The purpose of this study was to investigate the causes and effects of Cigarette smoking among secondary school students in Uyo metropolis, Akwa Ibom State.
1.4Objectives of the Study
The study was guided by the following objectives: -
- To establish the extent to which parents’ sources of income influence the prevalence of Cigarette smoking among secondary school students in Uyo metropolis.
- To determine how different location of schools influence the prevalence of Cigarette smoking among secondary school students in Uyo metropolis.
- To establish the extent to which school administration influences the prevalence of Cigarette smoking among secondary school students in Uyo metropolis.
- To establish how peer pressure influences Cigarette smoking among secondary school students in Uyo metropolis.
v)To make suggestions on how Cigarette smoking can be minimized.
This study was guided by the following research questions: -
- To what extent do parents’ sources of income influence the prevalence of drug
and substance abuse among secondary school students in Uyo metropolis?
- To what extent does location of schools influence the prevalence of Cigarette smoking among secondary school students in Uyo metropolis?
- To what extent does school administration influence the prevalence of Cigarette smoking among secondary school students in Uyo metropolis?
- How does peer pressure influence them on Cigarette smoking among secondary school students in Uyo metropolis?
- What measures can be taken to minimize Cigarette smoking?
1.6Significance of the Study
This study sought to generate useful data on the causes and impact of drugs abuse on education in Kenya. Therefore, the findings of this study may be useful in several, ways: The Ministry of Education (MOE) may use the study findings to find out ways of preventing Cigarette smoking through public enlightened campaigns in schools, promotion of awareness on the dangers of drugs and how they affect an individual, the family and the society at large.
The government may put in modalities of strengthening the guidance and counseling department in schools through taking the teachers for service teacher training courses. The findings may also be used to advocate that campaigns against substance use should be incorporated in schools with special focus on the adverse consequences of the substance use. Ultimately, the society will benefit from the findings of this study in creating a drug free society for social, economic and political development in line with sustainable development goals. The school principals may assist the students in identifying the sources of drugs so that they can take remedial measures. The guidance and counselling departments might be strengthened through appointment of trained and qualified counsellors to head the departments.
1.7Limitations of the Study
The data collection technique was mainly the use of questionnaires which were used to obtain data from the respondents. There were chances that some respondents might have been unwilling to respond to the questionnaires. The researcher also narrowed down the research objectives to five factors which might, have been conclusive evidence as there are many other factors which are beyond the control of the researcher. Such factors may have included inadequate rehabilitation centers, breakdown of African culture, lack of parental influence, availability of pocket money and school related factors.
There were a lot of funds needed to carry out a research so the researcher required a lot of money to research on the causes and effects of Cigarette smoking among secondary school students in Uyo metropolis, Nairobi County.
1.8Delimitations of the Study
The study was limited to selected public secondary schools in Uyo metropolis. The findings in the study were used to generalize the percentage of students who engaged in Cigarette smoking.
1.9Assumptions of the Study
The study assumed that the respondents were honest, truthful and willing to give correct answers. The reasons for students’ high prevalence of cigarette smoking were also stated in the objectives of the study. Other factors had no negligible influence on the frequency of cigarette smoking among students. The researcher assumed that school principals would allow guidance and counseling teachers and students to participate and give correct data during the research. It was also assumed that cigarette smoking prevails in one way or the other in Uyo metropolis.
1.10Operational definition of Terms
In this study the following terms were defined as:
Peer pressure: Refers to tendency to conform to the values and expectations of
the peer group.
Adolescence: Refers to period between childhood and adulthood and
characterized by physical and emotional changes.
Adolescent: Refers to a boy or girl between the ages of eleven and nineteen
years. Also refers to as a teenager.
Legal/licit drug: Refers to a drug socially accepted and readily available.
Prevalence: Refers to the magnitude of drug use among a particular age
School administration: Refers to managerial set ups in schools that may
influence a non-drug user to start using illegal drugs.
Drug trafficker/peddler: Refers to a person who passes drugs to consumers.
Student: Refers to a male or female learner in form 1 -4 in public
schools in Uyo metropolis, Nairobi County.