Predictors of smoking among primary and secondary school students in Botswana

Bontle Mbongwe, Roy Tapera, Nthabiseng Phaladze, Andrew Lord, Nicola M. Zetola

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


This study seeks to determine the prevalence and risk factors for smoking among students aged 12-18 years in two cities in Botswana. Using a sample of 2554 students we adapted the Global Youth Tobacco Survey (GYTS) methodology to assess students' smoking practices, knowledge, beliefs and attitudes. Logistic regression models were used to evaluate factors associated with smoking. The results revealed that 10% of students were current tobacco smokers with 29% reporting having tried smoking. Self-image and acceptance by peers were the strongest predictors of smoking overall (adjusted Odds Ratio [aOR]: 3.13, 95%, Confidence Interval [CI]: 2.67-3.66). Intention to smoke or to continue to smoke and perceived norms in conformity with smoking were also independently associated with smoking (aOR: 1.81, 95% CI: 167-2.11 and aOR: 1.31, 95% CI: 1.10-1.57, respectively). Perceived prevalence and exposure to smoking by peers and family and access to tobacco products was stronger among females (aOR: 1.69, 95% CI: 1.52-1.91) compared to males (aOR: 0.93, 95% CI: 0.70-1.24). Our results indicate that anti-tobacco interventions in Botswana should prioritize intra-personal factors associated with smoking. Our findings also suggest that different interventions targeting male and female students should be explored.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0175640
JournalPloS one
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2017
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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