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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2017  |  Volume : 7  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 164-170

Awareness of health effects of exposure to secondhand smoke from cigarettes: A cross-sectional study of never-smoked adult primary care patients in Eastern Nigeria


1 Department of Family Medicine, Federal Medical Centre, Umuahia, Abia State, Nigeria
2 Department of Family Nutrition and Dietetics, Federal Medical Centre, Umuahia, Abia State, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Gabriel Uche Pascal Iloh
Department of Family Medicine, Federal Medical Centre, Umuahia, Abia State
Nigeria
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/ajm.AJM_23_17

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Background: Cigarette smoking whether actively or passively is a growing public health problem. Despite the wealth of information on the hazards of active cigarette smoking, awareness of the health effects of passive smoking on human population is often neglected in Nigeria. Aim: The study was aimed at describing the awareness of health effects of exposure to secondhand smoke from cigarettes among never-smoked adult primary care patients in Eastern Nigeria. Materials and Methods: A hospital-based study carried out on a cross-section of 500 adult patients in a primary care clinic in Nigeria. Data were collected using pretested, structured, and interviewer-administered questionnaire. Exposure to secondhand smoke was defined as exposure to cigarette smoke in a never-smoked adult patient in the previous 1 year. Data were analyzed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences version 21 for the calculation of percentages for categorical variables. Bivariate analysis involving Chi-square test was used to test for significance of association between categorical variables at P < 0.05. Results: The age of the respondents ranged from 18 to 74 years, with a mean age of 36 ± 12.4 years. There were 180 (36.0%) males with 320 (64%) females, with a sex ratio of 1.8. Awareness of general health effects of secondhand smoke on adults, children, and pregnant women was 95.6%, 92.8%, and 65.2%, respectively. The most common specific health effects the respondents were aware for adults, children, and obstetric population were lung cancer (95.6%), precipitation of asthmatic condition (92.8%), and delivery of small babies (65.2%), respectively. The predominant source of awareness of information was radio (93.6%). Awareness of general health effects of exposure to secondhand smoke on adults (P = 0.041), children (P = 0.031), and obstetrics population (P = 0.02) was significantly associated with exposure status. Conclusion: The most common health effects of secondhand smoke the respondents had highest awareness were lung cancer, precipitation of asthmatic attacks, and delivery of small babies in adults, children, and obstetric population, respectively. Awareness of general health effects on adults, children, and obstetrics population was significantly associated with exposure status. The current level of awareness should be improved while effort should be intensified to address identified areas of low level of awareness.


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