9 In 10 Nigerians Express Support for Laws to Restrict and Regulate Smoking
 

 

Abuja, Nigeria. March 25th, 2014 – Latest weekly poll results released by NOIPolls Limited has revealed that majority of Nigerians (84%) believe that tobacco smoking has become highly predominant in Nigeria; indicating that this high predominance is observed mainly amongst males (88%) between the ages of 18 to 25 years (47%) and 26 to 40 years (26%). The poll further revealed that the vast majority of those polled (94%)believe that smoking of cigarettes and other tobacco products are very harmful to individuals, while 80% think passive or second hand smoking pose serious health hazard to non-smokers. In this regard, majority of Nigerians (88%) have expressed support for laws that would restrict and regulate tobacco smoking in Nigeria, with more support generally from respondents who have never smoked and least support from respondents who smoke regularly. These were the key findings from the Anti-Tobacco Special Edition Poll conducted in the week ofFebruary 17th 2014

Brief Background

In the recent times, there has been a global awakening on the adverse effects of tobacco consumption and different countries have risen up to fight against the growing casualty from its consumption. The United States, England and China are some of the countries that have banned smoking in public places. In Nigeria, an example was recently set by the Lagos State House of Assembly, banning smoking in public places in January 2014. In line with this, stakeholders suggest that the next phase of stopping the product from harming more people is through proactive legislation in the country, particularly the National Tobacco Control Bill. [[1]]

The National Tobacco Control Bill was initiated by Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth to regulate the production, sales, marketing and distribution of tobacco products in Nigeria. The bill which also prohibits the sale of cigarettes to minors, smoking in public places and the sale of cigarettes in single sticks is currently awaiting presidential approval.

Similarly the Nigeria Tobacco Control Alliance (NTCA); a national coalition of tobacco and cancer control organizations working at the National level for policy shift stated that an Increment in cigarette tax which has been proposed to the Federal government by Health practitioners and tobacco control experts will discourage more smokers, raise state revenue and enable the achievement of public health policy goals such as discouraging the use of tobacco.[2]

Against this background, NOIPolls was approached by the Anti-tobacco campaign group “TobaccoFreeKids” to poll on this highly important issue. The questionnaire was designed by NOIPolls with input from members of the TobaccoFreeKids group. Respondents to the poll were asked eight specific questions; five of those questions are presented in this results release. To obtain the full report; click here or contact contact editor@noi-polls.com or visit www.noi-polls.com

The main objectives of the survey were to gauge the perception of Nigerians on the predominance of Tobacco consumption/smoking nationwide by gender and age; to ascertain the tobacco consumption/smoking status of Nigerians; to gauge the awareness of Nigerians on the negative effects of primary and passive (second-hand) Tobacco consumption/smoking and to determine the level of ratification of Nigerians on laws and policies to regulate the use of Tobacco in Nigeria.

The first question sought the opinions of Nigerians on the prevalence of tobacco smoking. Respondents were asked: In your opinion, how predominant is tobacco consumption / smoking in Nigeria? The overall majority of respondents (84%) believe that tobacco smoking has become highly predominant in Nigeria, while15% are of the view that it is somewhat predominant. A meagre 1% indicated that it is not predominant at all.

Further analysis, by geo-political zones, indicates that the North-East zone (90%) has the highest proportions of respondents that said it is highly predominant. This is followed by the North-West zone with 65%, while the North-Central zone has the largest proportion of respondents that claim it is somewhat predominant.

[1]www.vanguardng.com

[2] Nigeria Tobacco Control Alliance 

 

In order to gauge the tobacco consumption history of respondents, they were asked: Which of the following statements applies to you? (1) I have never smoked tobacco; (2) I used to smoke tobacco but I have given up now; (3) I smoke tobacco sometimes, but I don’t smoke regularly; (4) I smoke tobacco regularly. Findings show that the majority (88%) of the respondents claimed they have never smoked tobacco. This is followed by 7% who claim they used to smoke tobacco but have given up now. A meagre 3% of the respondents indicated they smoke tobacco regularly while 2% claimed they sometimes smoke tobacco but not regularly.

Analysis by gender reveals that more females (96%) than male (78%) claim they have they have never smoked tobacco at all. Analysis by the geo-political zone reveals the North East zone has the highest proportion of respondent that smoke tobacco regularly (7%). In addition, the South-South (10%) and the South-West (10%) zones both account for the highest proportion of respondents that used to smoke tobacco but have given it up, while the North-Central and the South-West zones with 4% each account for the highest proportion of respondents that smoke tobacco sometimes but not regularly.

Analysis based on the age-group shows that the highest proportion of respondents that used to smoke but have given up and smoke regularly are within the age group of 30-45 years with 12% and 4% respectively. In addition, the highest proportion of Nigerians that smoke tobacco sometimes but not regularly are within the age group of 60 years and above (10%).

 

Subsequently, respondents were asked: To what extent would you support the law that would restrict or strictly regulate tobacco consumption/cigarette smoking? Overall, the majority of respondents(88%) stated that they would strongly support the law; 4% of the respondents say they would somewhat support and 4% were neutral in their stance.

Further analysis across geo-political zones shows that the North-Central zone has the highest proportion of respondents (93%) that affirm they would strongly support the law; this is followed by the North-West zone with 91% and the North-East zone with 90%.

 

Once again, cross analysis of the responses by tobacco consumption history reveals that the largest proportion(92%) of respondents that say they would strongly support the law that will regulate tobacco products are respondents that have never smoked tobacco while the highest proportion (20%) of respondents that say that they would strongly oppose the law are respondents who smoke regularly, however the majority (56%) of regular smokers claim they would support the law. In addition, the highest proportion of respondents who areneutral about the law that would restrict and strictly regulate tobacco consumption and cigarette smoking are respondents who smoke tobacco sometimes but not regularly.

 

Finally, respondents were asked: To what extent would you support or oppose the implementation of the following proposed policies by the government to reduce tobacco use in Nigeria? (a) Prohibiting smoking entirely inside most public places, including all work places, public buildings offices, schools, restaurants and bars.

Findings show that the vast majority of respondents affirm they strongly support the implementation of the policies by the government to “prohibit smoking entirely inside most public places” (92%). Analysis of the support of anti-tobacco policies by tobacco consumption history reveals that the largest proportion of respondents (95%) who say they would strongly support the policy that prohibits smoking entirely inside most public places, are respondents who have never smoked tobacco, while the highest proportion (18%) of respondents who say they would strongly oppose the policy are respondents who smoke regularly. However, the majority (51%) of the regular smokers claim they would support this policy, though this group has the lowest level of support among all groups.

In conclusion, the majority of respondents (84%) believe that tobacco smoking is highly predominant in Nigeria, especially amongst males (88%) between the ages of 18 to 25 years (47%) and 26 to 40 years (26%). Also, the vast majority of those polled (94%) believe that smoking of cigarettes and other tobacco products are very harmful to individuals, and have expressed support for laws that would restrict and regulate tobacco smoking in Nigeria (88%).

This anti-tobacco special edition poll has provided clear evidence on the widespread support for the restriction and regulation of smoking and tobacco consumption in Nigeria; thus providing scientific data to deepen the discussion by anti-tobacco campaigners. We therefore suggest that in forging ahead with a National Tobacco Control Bill, evidence-based legislation that meets international public health standards and benchmarks is given careful consideration, particularly the approaches adopted in countries that have successfully implemented similar legislation with considerable progress. Finally, we hope the results from this poll provide the needed public support for the campaigns by TobaccoFreeKids and National Tobacco Control Alliance; as well as stimulate the Federal Government to provide necessary attention to the National Tobacco Control Bill (NTCB) in order to ensure its smooth passage.

Survey Methods

The opinion poll was conducted in February 17th to 19th 2014. It involved telephone interviews of a random nationwide sample. 1,000 randomly selected phone-owning Nigerians aged 18 years and above, representing the six geopolitical zones in the country, were interviewed. With a sample of this size, we can say with 95% confidence that the results obtained are statistically precise - within a range of plus or minus 3%. NOIPolls Limited, No1 for country specific polling services in West Africa, which works in technical partnership with the Gallup Organisation (USA), to conduct periodic opinion polls and studies on various socio-economic and political issues in Nigeria. More information is available at www.noi-polls.com 

Disclaimer

This press release has been produced by NOIPolls Limited to provide information on all issues which form the subject matter of the document. Kindly note that while we are willing to share results from our polls with the general public, we only request that NOIPolls be acknowledged as author whenever and wherever our poll results are used, cited or published.

 NOIPolls hereby certifies that all the views expressed in this document accurately reflect its views of respondents surveyed for the poll, and background information is based on information from various sources that it believes are reliable; however, no representation is made that it is accurate or complete. Whilst reasonable care has been taken in preparing this document, no responsibility or liability is accepted for errors or fact or for any views expressed herein by NOIPolls for actions taken as a result of information provided in this report. Any ratings, forecasts, estimates, opinions or views herein constitute a judgment as at the date of this document. If the date of this document is not current, the views and content may not reflect NOIPolls’ current findings and/or thinking.

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