Knowledge about smoking among high school learners

  • Mokonoto Dimakatso Maggie



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.


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.


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


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.


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.


A self-administered questionnaire.


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).


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


Abut. B.S. & Lisk, R.D. (1995). Tobacco and cannabis smoking in secondary school pipits in Bo, Siera Leone. West Africa Journal of Medicine, 14(3). 157-60.

Al-Faris, E.A. (1995). Smoking habits of secondary school boys in rural Riyadh. Public Health, 109(1), 47-55.

Airhihenbuwa , C.O. (1995). Health and Culture: Beyond the Western Paradigm. London: sage.

Bener, A. & ai-Ketbi, L.M. (1999). Cigarette smoking among high school boys in developing countries. Journal of Social Health, 119(3), 166-69.

Department of Health, Education & Welfare (2000). National guidelines for the development of health promoting schools/sites in South Africa, Pretoria.

Glanz, K.. Marcus. F.. Lewis. F.M. & Rimer, B.K. (1997). Health behavior and health education•Theory , research and practice. San Francisco: Jossy-Bass.

Lee, R.M. (1993). Doing research on sensitive topics . London: Sage.

Reddy, P., Meyer-Weitz , A., Abedian, I..Steyn, K. & Swart, D. (1998). lmplementable strategies to strengthen comprehensive tobacco control in South Africa: towards an optimal policy intervention mix. Policy Brief. Retrieved January 2, 2003 , from PubMed database.

Simon-Morton , B.G., Greene, W.H. Gottlieb, N.H. (1995). Introduction to health education anct. health promotio'! . Illinois: Waveland press.

Skweyiya, Z. (2006). Z. Skweyiya to open conference on orphans and vulnerable children. Conference speech . Retrieved March 14, 2007, from Google database.

Smith. M. & Umenai, T. (2000). Knowledge, iiitlitu.d.e.s.ailO practice of smok ing among university students of allied health sciences in Japan. As ia-Pacific Journal of Public Health , 12(1),17-21

Swart. D. (2001). Launching South Africa's first youth tobacco survey. MRC News. Retrieved February 05, 2003, from Google database

Tapia-Conyer , R., Cravioto, P., de Ia Rosa, B.,Galvan, F., Garcia,­ de Ia Torre,G & Kuri, P. (1997). Cigarette smoking: knowledge and attitudes among Mexican physician. Saluda Publican of Mexico, 39(6), 507 -12.

Tobacco Products Control Ame ndment Act No. 12 (2000). Government Gazette No 21610 5, Pretoria.

Warren, C., Riley, L., Asma, S., Erikson, M.P., Blanton, C., Batchelor, S. & Yach, D. (2000). Tobacco use by you.tb.;_l surveillance report from the global youth tobacco survey project. Bulletin of the WHO.