An Exploratory Study of the Socio-cultural Risk Influences for Cigarette Smoking Among Southern Nigerian Youth
Background: The increase in smoking prevalence in developing countries including Nigeria has been mainly blamed on the aggressive marketing strategies of big tobacco companies. There is a paucity of research on other socio-cultural risk factors for smoking among the youth. The main objective of this study is to explore and describe socio-cultural risk factors influencing cigarette smoking among the youth in Southern Nigeria. Methods: A total of 27 respondents (5 community leaders, 4 political analysts and 18 young cigarette smokers) were interviewed using a semi-structured interview guide. Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) was used to analyse the data. Results: Social-cultural practices fuelling early usage and exposure of children to cigarettes and the promotional activities of tobacco companies were identified as possible factors influencing youth’s smoking behaviour in Southern Nigeria. Conclusion: Tobacco control policies should include cultural interventions to modify current traditional practices and social norms which fuel the use of tobacco in the society. Such interventions must target specific groups, subpopulations and subcultures more exposed to the cultural risk influences for smoking.