Tobacco use and associated factors among Rwandan youth aged 15-34 years: Findings from a nationwide survey, 2013

Oct 07, 2019; Plos one .


Use of tobacco and its products are the single most preventable cause of death in the world. The objective of this study was to determine the prevalence of current tobacco use and identify associated factors among Rwandans aged 15-34 years.

This study involved secondary analysis of existing data from the nationally representative WHO STEPwise approach to Surveillance of non-communicable diseases (STEPS) conducted in 2013 to explore the prevalence of tobacco use and its associated factors in Rwanda. Data of 3,900 youth participants (15-34 years old) who had been selected using multistage cluster sampling during the survey was analyzed. The prevalence of current smoking along with socio-demographic characteristics of the sample were determined and multivariable logistic regression was employed to identify independent factors associated with current tobacco use.

The prevalence (weighted) of current tobacco use (all forms) was 8% (95%CI: 7.08-9.01). The prevalence was found to be significantly higher among males, young adults aged 24-34, youth with primary school education or less, those from Southern province, people with income (work in public, private organizations and self-employed) and young married adults. However, geographical location i.e. urban (7%) and rural (8%) settings did not affect prevalence of tobacco use. Factors that were found to be associated with current tobacco use through the multivariate analysis included being male, aged 25 years and above, having an income, and residing in Eastern, Kigali City and Southern Province compared to Western province.

The association between smoking and socio-demographic characteristics among Rwandan youth identified in this study provides an opportunity for policy makers to tailor future tobacco control policies, and implement coordinated, high-impact interventions to prevent initiation of tobacco use among the youth.

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