Email updates

Keep up to date with the latest news and content from BMC Public Health and BioMed Central.

Open Access Open Badges Research article

Prevalence and determinants of adolescent tobacco smoking in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Emmanuel Rudatsikira1, Abdurahman Abdo2 and Adamson S Muula3*

Author Affiliations

1 Departments of Global Health, Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Loma Linda University School of Public Health, Loma Linda, California, USA

2 UNICEF Country Office, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

3 Department of Community Health, University of Malawi, College of Medicine, Blantyre, Malawi

For all author emails, please log on.

BMC Public Health 2007, 7:176  doi:10.1186/1471-2458-7-176

Published: 25 July 2007



Tobacco smoking is a growing public health problem in the developing world. There is paucity of data on smoking and predictors of smoking among school-going adolescents in most of sub-Saharan Africa. Hence, the aim of this study is to estimate the prevalence of smoking and its associations among school-going adolescents in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.


Data from the Global Youth Tobacco Survey (GYTS) 2003 were used to determine smoking prevalence, determinants, attitudes to, and exposure to tobacco advertisements among adolescents.


Of the 1868 respondents, 4.5% males and 1% females reported being current smokers (p < 0.01). Having smoking friends was strongly associated with smoking after controlling for age, gender, parental smoking status, and perception of risks of smoking (OR = 33; 95% CI [11.6, 95.6]). Male gender and having one or both smoking parents were associated with smoking. Perception that smoking is harmful was negatively associated with being a smoker (odds ratio 0.3; 95% confidence interval, 0.2–0.5)


Prevalence of smoking among adolescents in Ethiopia is lower than in many other African countries. There is however need to strengthen anti-tobacco messages especially among adolescents.