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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



Thursday, July 13, 2006 - 12:00 PM
13-247

The Reasons for Smoking,Awareness of Dangers of Smoking and Methods Used for Stopping Smoking by Attendants of Rural Health Centers around the City of Mthatha in South Africa

JIMMY CHANDIA, MBCHB, MPRAXMED, WALTER SISULU UNIVERSITY, NELSON MANDELA DRIVE, MTHATHA, South Africa

Objective: The object of the study was to establish the reasons,awareness of dangers of smoking and the methods used for stopping smoking by attendants of rural Health Centres around the city of Mthatha in S.Africa.

Methods: A cross sectional study design was used. Smokers attending Mbekweni and Baziya Health Centres around the city of Mthatha on 18thNovember 2005 were consecutively selected .Informed consent was obtained.Data was collected using an interview schedule.

Results: A total of 49 smokers participated.There were 42 males and 7 females.Their ages ranged from17-73 years.Majority(80%) of them smoked cigarettes only,the rest smoked the pipe and cigarettes or the pipe only.The mean number of cigarettes smoked per day was 8.They mainly (50%) smoked because they were copying friends and to relieve stress.The other reasons included,feeling as a man,for fun,to think better,because of tradition,nice after a meal,its dignifying ,as therapy for high blood pressure,headache and toothache.Some had no reason for smoking(12%).About half the group (50%) were aware of the dangers of smoking.The most frequent danger of smoking mentioned was cancer(32%).Other dangers mentioned were damage to the brain,tuberculosis, heart disease and asthma.Majority of them (58%) had not tried to stop smoking.Those who did mainly used their will power .Other methods used included pills, sweats,milk and water.