Knowledge about smoking among high school learners

  • Mokonoto Dimakatso Maggie

Abstract

Introduction

Individuals continue to smoke despite knowledge about dangers of smoking. It is imperative that knowledge about factors that determine smoking and w ays of preventing smoking be investigated.

Objectives

The objective  of the study was  to  investigate  knowledge about dangers of smoking, sources of information on smoking, impact of smoking on economy , determinants of smoking and strategies to prevent smoking among grade twelve learners.

Methods

This paper reports on selective concepts of a larger cross-sectional descriptive survey.

Participants

All learners who gave informed consent and who were enrolled during 2001 as grade twelve learners at the three selected schools (n=452), were recruited to participate in the survey.

Setting

The study was done in the multi-cultured community of Tshwane South Education District located in Gauteng Province. The

district was divided into three strata. One school was selected randomly from each stratum.

Intervention

A self-administered questionnaire.

Results

There were 401 (89%) returned questionna ires. Overall 104 (26%) of learners were current smokers. Information about smoking was grouped as follows: dangers of smoking (lung disease, cancer, mortality and etc); sources of information (media, school , health care professionals etc) ; determinants of smoking (stress, experimentation , status and media) and strategies (awareness campaigns , policies , self control etc).

Conclusion

Despite  knowledge , smok ing among  grade  12 learners continues. Approp riate  health promotion  interventions  should  be based on the needs of the learners.

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