Toombak Use and Cigarette Smoking in the Sudan: Estimates of Prevalence in the Nile State
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Background. Survey data on the prevalence of use of oral snuff (toombak) and cigarette consumption according to various demographic factors are needed in the Sudan.
Methods. A house to house cross-sectional survey of a random population sample of 4,535 households was performed. Of the 23,367 household members identified, 21,648 (92.6%) eligible individuals were questioned about tobacco use.
Results. Among children and adolescents (4–17 years) prevalence of tobacco use was quite low (2%, range 1–2%), but there was an abrupt increase up to 25% in late adolescence. Among the adult population aged 18 years and older the prevalences of toombak use (34%) and cigarette smoking (12%) among males were significantly higher than among females (2.5 and 0.9%, respectively). The prevalence of toombak use among the male population aged 18 years and older was significantly higher in the rural than in the urban areas (35% vs 24%), while cigarette smoking had a higher prevalence in urban areas (18% vs 12%). The highest rates of toombak use were found in rural areas among the male population ages 30 years and older (mean 46.6%, range 45–47%).
Conclusions. In view of the high prevalence of tobacco use, especially of toombak, among the population surveyed, there is an urgent need to educate the public on the health consequences of these habits.