TCRA research: Ugandan researcher wants to find the latest statistics on young people and tobacco use in the countryACTA
When it comes to taking up a habit like smoking, young people are in all probability considered the most vulnerable group. Accordingly, implementing effective ways to prevent cigarette smoking and other forms of tobacco use can yield important public health benefits, particularly in low- and middle-income countries.
Statistics show that low and middle income countries account for 80% of the smoking population in the world.
The World Health Organization’s Global Status report on Non-Communicable Diseases shows that in Uganda, tobacco use is a major risk factor for NCDs which account for 25 % of all deaths in the country.
Young people are considered an extremely vulnerable to non- communicable diseases and their risk factors, especially tobacco use. In urban settings, this is compounded by unemployment, poverty and disadvantaged population who live in slum communities.
But the challenge is that in Ugandan urban communities, there is little data showing why youth people take up the habit. As a result, tobacco control interventions are not tailormade to them.
Alex Daama, who is currently a researcher in Makarere University is taking on this challenge. He aims to understand the current status on consumption of tobacco or tobacco products and associated factors.
Daama’s study will provide clarity on tobacco use among young people in urban setting of Wakiso and determine any association between tobacco use and any sociodemographic characteristics and the respondents.
This he believes will help with the design of interventions aimed at tobacco control among young people between the ages of 15 and 30.
His study will make use of the existing Population Health Surveillance (PHS) data being implemented by Africa Medical and Behavioral Sciences Organization (AMBSO) to garner information about tobacco use as well as socio-demographic characteristics from youths residing in urban settings in three urban areas of Wakiso district.
As such, the study will provide valuable information on demographic information on youths who use tobacco products, thereby allowing for an understanding of the prevalence, spatial distribution and characteristics of this group of tobacco users.
Information accruing from this research may be used for the health education, promotion and this will ultimately help to reduce non-communicable diseases (NCDs) risk in this vulnerable sub- population in such settings.