Cigarette smoking among adolescent females in Pakistan

Document Type



Pulmonary and Critical Care


SETTING: Tobacco use among adolescent females is gaining importance as they take up smoking in increasing numbers. Recent studies show that sex differences in tobacco use are disappearing and that tobacco companies are agressively targeting females in developing countries.Objective: To determine the factors influencing the use of cigarettes among female high-school students in Karachi, Pakistan, and hence to identify areas for future intervention.METHOD: A two-stage cluster sample of 644 females was drawn from government and private schools in a locality in Karachi. A self-administered questionnaire was used for data collection.Results: The mean age was 15.29 years. The prevalence of ever-smokers was found to be 16.3%. Univariate analysis indicated that private school attendance, underage sale of tobacco at shops, tobacco use by family members and exposure to cigarette advertisements predicted smoking among girls. Knowledge assessment of the subjects showed that most girls had good knowledge about the hazards of smoking.CONCLUSION: Our study has identified several risk factors for smoking among young girls. Appropriate interventions are needed in the form of public education programmes, effective anti-tobacco laws and stricter enforcement of existing laws to restrict the number of young female smokers.

Publication (Name of Journal)

The International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease