Knowledge, attitude and practice of tobacco use among secondary school students in Nairobi: the case of students in Kangemi high school
In Kenya, there has been a rapid increase in the prevalence of smoking among the younger generation. Every effort needs to be made to stop the uptake of smoking among this category. This study focused on male secondary school students enrolled in Kangemi High school. The study explored the students’ level of awareness in relation to tobacco products and risks associated to their use on health, their attitudes towards smoking as well as their smoking habits. The study adopted a cross-sectional research design, and used a multi- stage sampling technique to select 156 respondents. The study used mixed methods of data collection and collected both quantitative and qualitative data from the respondents. This study established that a majority of students had a low level of knowledge regarding the health threats caused by smoking and positive attitudes towards smoking were found among the students. It was found that the prevalence of smoking among the students was 10.9%, mainly attributed to a student being; between 16-18 years, a Christian, a resident of Kangemi ward, and having extra sources of income. Family members and peers were found to influence students to take up smoking and also to expose them to ETS. This study concludes that smoking behavior is still present among male students. The study therefore recommends the need for concerted efforts from government, teachers and parents to educate and protect students from easy access to cigarettes and exposure to tobacco smoke.