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The role of parents, friends and teachers in adolescents' cigarette smoking and tombak dipping in Sudan


Objective To assess the influence of smoking and tombak (local smokeless tobacco) dipping by parents, teachers and friends on cigarette smoking and tombak dipping by school-going Sudanese adolescents.

Methods This was a school-based cross-sectional survey was conducted in 2005–2006. Logistic regression was used for the analysis. A total of 4277 Sudanese school-going adolescents (aged 11–17 years) from 23 schools who completed an anonymous self-administered questionnaire on the use of tobacco products. Main outcome measures were self-reported tobacco use during the previous month defined current tobacco use. Ever smoking, tombak dipping and other tobacco products were also considered as outcomes.

Results After adjusting for sex, age and school grade, adolescents' smoking habits were strongly associated with the habit in their parents and friends and, more weakly, with tombak dipping by teachers. When adjusted for each other, the association with smoking in friends was unaffected and remained significant (prevalence OR (POR) of having ever smoked was 1.94, 95% CI 1.64 to 2.29; OR of being current smoker was 3.77, 95% CI 2.80 to 5.07). Tobacco smoking in friends was positively associated with adolescents ever tombak dipping (POR 1.81, 95% CI 1.41 to 2.33) and current dipping (OR 3.33, 95% CI 2.20 to 5.05). The association with parental habits was reduced but still significantly elevated. Tombak dipping by teachers was only associated with adolescents ever tobacco smoking.

Conclusions Tobacco use by parents, teachers and friends was associated with adolescents' tobacco habits. The influence of friends was the strongest. In developing programmes against adolescents' tobacco habits, there is need to target the influence of these ‘significant others’. Sudan needs to develop and implement comprehensive anti-smoking and anti-tombak dipping legislation to reduce the growing prevalence of such habits.

  • Parents
  • teachers
  • friends
  • smoking
  • tombak dipping
  • Sudan
  • prevalence
  • smokeless tobacco products
  • tobacco products

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