Tobacco Use, Beliefs and Risk Awareness in University Students from 24 Low, Middle and Emerging Economy Countries


The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of tobacco use, beliefs and risk awareness andpsychosocial correlates of tobacco use among university students in 24 low, middle and emerging economycountries. Using anonymous questionnaires, data were collected from 16953 undergraduate university students(mean age 20.9, SD=2.9) from 25 universities in 24 countries across Asia, Africa and the Americas. Results indicatethat overall 13.3% of the university students were current tobacco users, 22.4% for men and 6.6% for women,ranging from 3.8% in Singapore to 32.5% in Cameroon. The risk awareness of the smoking lung cancer link was83.6%, while the risk awareness of the smoking heart disease link was 46.5%. Multivariate logistic regressionfound that older age, male gender, having a wealthy family background, living in a low income country, residingoff campus on their own, poor beliefs in the importance not to smoke, awareness of the smoking heart diseaselink, hit by a sexual partner, depressive symptoms, and substance use (binge drinking and illicit drug use) wereassociated with current tobacco use.