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The 13th World Conference on Tobacco OR Health
Building capacity for a tobacco-free world
July 12-15, 2006, Washington, DC, USA
Objective: To identify: (1) the smoking beliefs attitudes and behaviors of Nigerian women. (2) The perception of cancer (and other tobacco-related ailments) amongst Nigerian women. (3) Key determinants of these perceptions/ behaviors. (4) And devise recommendations for the design and implementation of public policies/ health interventions and basis for speaking to women to appropriate existing beliefs, attitudes, and determinants that keep women from smoking.
Methods: Data was collected from a survey administered in 2003 to a random stratified cluster sample of Nigerian women from the six geo-political zones in Nigeria. The questionnaire was administered by 9 volunteer-university-students overseen by me. The questionnaire looked at the Nigerian women's beliefs, attitudes and behaviors regarding tobacco usage and hazards, exposure to media/information and tobacco marketing.2400 copies of the questionnaire were administered, 1856copies were completed and returned (77% response-rate).
Results: A low level of awareness as majority of the women (72%) underestimated the real health hazards of smoking. Snuff users believe snuff has medicinal benefits. Cigarette smoking was erroneously associated with weight loss though 65% claimed smoking was opposed to their cultural standard. Cultural taboos about cancer exist. Most people believe that once cancer is diagnosed, that person is almost dead, so they do not bother to seek treatment. Investments (in youth-education) and aggressive marketing, especially through advertisements where women smokers are glamorized by the tobacco companies in Nigeria exists .However, Findings suggest that significant number of women need to be properly informed/convinced of tobacco health hazards with a view to make Nigeria tobacco-free.