Research

Prevalence of tobacco use among adults in South Africa: Results from the first South African National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey

Priscilla Reddy, Khangelani Zuma, Olive Shisana, Jonas Kim, Ronel Sewpaul

Abstract


Background. Data on tobacco use have informed the effectiveness of South Africa (SA)’s tobacco control strategies over the past 20 years.

Objective. To estimate the prevalence of tobacco use in the adult SA population according to certain demographic variables, and identify the factors influencing cessation attempts among current smokers.

Methods. A multistage disproportionate nationally representative stratified cluster sample of households was selected for the South African National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, conducted in 2012. A sample of 10 000 households from 500 census enumerator areas was visited. A detailed questionnaire was administered to all consenting adults in each consenting household.

Results. Of adult South Africans, 17.6% (95% confidence interval (CI) 6.3 - 18.9) currently smoke tobacco. Males (29.2%) had a prevalence four times that for females (7.3%) (odds ratio 5.20, 95% CI 4.39 - 6.16; p<0.001). The provinces with the highest current tobacco smoking prevalence were the Western Cape (32.9%), Northern Cape (31.2%) and Free State (27.4%). Among current tobacco smokers, 29.3% had been advised to quit smoking by a healthcare provider during the preceding year, 81.4% had noticed health warnings on tobacco packages, and 49.9% reported that the warning labels had led them to consider quitting.

Conclusion. A large proportion of adult South Africans continue to use tobacco. While considerable gains have been made in reducing tobacco use over the past 20 years, tobacco use and its determinants need to be monitored to ensure that tobacco control strategies remain effective.


Authors' affiliations

Priscilla Reddy, Population Health, Health Systems and Innovation, Human Sciences Research Council, Cape Town, South Africa; Child and Family Studies, Department of Social Work, Faculty of Community and Health Sciences, University of the Western Cape, Bellville, Cape Town, South Africa

Khangelani Zuma, Research Methodology and Data Centre, Human Sciences Research Council, Pretoria, South Africa

Olive Shisana, Human Sciences Research Council, Cape Town, South Africa; Department of Psychiatry and Mental Health, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town, South Africa

Jonas Kim, Population Health, Health Systems and Innovation, Human Sciences Research Council, Cape Town, South Africa

Ronel Sewpaul, Population Health, Health Systems and Innovation, Human Sciences Research Council, Cape Town, South Africa

Full Text

PDF (117KB)

Keywords

South Africa; Adult tobacco use; Cessation; Prevalence

Cite this article

South African Medical Journal 2015;105(8):648-655. DOI:10.7196/SAMJnew.7932

Article History

Date submitted: 2015-01-30
Date published: 2015-09-21

Article Views

Abstract views: 1927
Full text views: 719

Comments on this article

*Read our policy for posting comments here