Cancer Causes & Control

, Volume 23, Supplement 1, pp 45–55 | Cite as

Mass media exposure, social stratification, and tobacco consumption among Nigerian adults

  • Adebola Odunlami Tafawa
  • Kasisomayajula Viswanath
  • Ichiro Kawachi
  • David R. Williams
Original Paper



Mass media exposure is a strong determinant of tobacco use yet little is known about this relationship in African countries. We explored socio-demographic and socio-contextual correlates of tobacco consumption and associations between mass media exposure, gender and the use of any and various forms of tobacco among Nigerians.


The study included 47,805 adults from the cross-sectional and nationally representative Nigeria demographic and health survey 2008. Weighted binary logistic models predicted any tobacco use whereas weighted multinomial logistic models predicted smoking and smokeless tobacco, all compared with no tobacco use.


Approximately 4.2% of Nigerian adults used tobacco—2.7% smoked tobacco whereas 1.5% used smokeless tobacco. Tobacco use was more prevalent among men than women (12% vs. 0.6%; p value <0.0001). Gender modified the associations between tobacco use and radio exposure or TV exposure (p values ranged = 0.02–0.05). Among men, some radio exposure and high radio exposure were associated with increased odds of any tobacco use, compared with no radio exposure. Among men, infrequently reading newspapers/magazines and frequently reading newspapers/magazines were associated with higher odds of smokeless tobacco use, compared with not reading newspapers/magazines. Among women, infrequently reading newspapers/magazines was associated with reduced odds of smokeless tobacco use, compared with not reading newspaper/magazines.


The relationships between mass media exposure and tobacco consumption differed by gender and were more pronounced among men. Research on radio programs may help to form policies that can address tobacco use among Nigerian men.


Tobacco Mass media Nigeria Africa Socio-economic status 



The authors would like to acknowledge the initiative for maximizing diversity program at the Harvard School of Public Health, the respondents and administrators of the NDHS 2008, and the anonymous reviewers of this manuscript.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


  1. 1.
    Baris E, Bridgen LW, Prindiville J et al (2000) Research priorities for tobacco control in developing countries: a regional approach to a global consultative process. Tob Control 9:217–223PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Yach D, Bettcher D (2000) Globalization of tobacco industry influence and new global responses. Tob Control 9:206–216PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Oluwafemi A (2003) Regional summary for the African region. In: Shafey O, Dolwick S, Guidon GE (eds) Tobacco control country profiles, 2nd edn. American Cancer Society, Atlanta, pp 27–31Google Scholar
  4. 4.
  5. 5.
    National Population Commission (NPC) [Nigeria] and ICF Macro (2009) Nigeria demographic and health survey 2008. National Population Commission and ICF Macro, AbujaGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (2005) Accessed 16 Oct 2009
  7. 7.
  8. 8.
    BAT (1993) Awareness and image monitor-Nigeria: research proposals II. Bates no: 500108814-500108821 at
  9. 9.
    National Cancer Institute (2008) The role of the media in promoting and reducing tobacco use. Tobacco control monograph no. 19. NIH pub. no. 07-6242. US Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, MD, USAGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Song AV, Ling PM, Neilands TB, Glantz SA (2007) Smoking in movies and increased smoking among young adults. Am J Prev Med 33:396–403PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Viswanath K, Ackerson L, Sorenson G et al (2010) Movies and TV influence tobacco use in India: findings from a national survey. Plos One 5(6):e11365PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Owusu-Dabo E, Lewis S, McNeill A, Gilmore A, Britton J (2009) Smoking uptake and prevalence in Ghana. Tob Control 18:365–370PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Williams CT, Grier SA, Marks AS (2008) “Coming to town”: the impact of urbanicity, cigarette advertising, and network norms on the smoking attitudes of black women in Cape Town, South Africa. J Urban Health 85(4):472–485PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Islam SMS, Johnson CA (2007) Western media’s influence on Egyptian adolescent’s smoking behavior: the mediating role of positive beliefs about smoking. Nicotine Tob Res 9(1):57–64PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Shah BS, Pednekar MS, Gupta PC (2008) The relationship between tobacco advertisements and smoking status of youth in India. Asian Pac J Cancer Prev 9:637–642PubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    BAT (1996) JPGL relaunch brief: Nigeria. Bates no: 800520464/0465 at
  17. 17.
    BAT (1993) Benson and Hedges golden tones. Bates no: 503649543-503649544 at
  18. 18.
    BAT (1994) Golden tones manual: draft 1. Bates no: 500273303-500273345 at
  19. 19.
  20. 20.
    Peer N, Bradshaw D, Laubscher R, Steyn K (2003) Trends in adult tobacco use from two South African demographic and health surveys conducted in 1998 and 2003. SAMJ 99(10):744–749Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Mackay J (1994) The fight against tobacco in developing countries. Tuber Lung Dis 75:8–24PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Obot I (1990) The use of tobacco products among Nigerian adults: a general population survey. Drug Alcohol Depend 1990(26):203–208CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Gupta PC, Ray CS (2003) Smokeless tobacco and health in India and South Asia. Respirology 8:419–431PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Ima-Obong AE (2008) Global youth tobacco survey for Nigeria. Centers for Disease Control. Accessed 16 Oct 2009
  25. 25.
    Patel P, Okechukwu CA, Collin J, Hughes B (2009) Bringing ‘light, life and happiness’: British American tobacco and music sponsorship in Sub-Saharan Africa. Third World Q 30(40):685–700CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Drope J (2011) Nigerian tobacco situation analysis. Accessed 29 Dec 2011
  27. 27.
    Euromonitor (2009). Accessed 24 Jan 2011
  28. 28.
    McNutt LA, Holcomb JP, Carlson BE (2000) Logistic regression analysis: when the odds ratio does not work: an example using intimate partner violence data? J Interpers Violence 15:1050–1059CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    World Health Organization (2010) Accessed 29 Dec 2011
  30. 30.
    Fawibe AE, Shittu AO (2011) Prevalence and characteristics of cigarettes smokers among undergraduates of the University of Ilorin, Nigeria. Niger J Clin Pract 14(2):201–205PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Adebiyi AO, Faseru B, Sangowawa AO, Owoaje ET (2010) Tobacco use amongst out of school adolescents in a local government area in Nigeria. Subst Abuse Treat Prev Policy 5:24PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    Gureje O, Degenhardt L, Olley B et al (2007) A descriptive epidemiology of substance use and substance abuse disorders in Nigeria during early twenty-first century. Drug Alcohol Depend 91:1–9PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    Pampel F (2008) Tobacco use in Sub-Saharan Africa: estimates from the demographic health surveys. Soc Sci Med 66:1772–1783PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
    Lopez AD, Collishaw NE, Piha T (1994) A descriptive model of the cigarette epidemic in developed countries. Tob Control 3(3):242–247CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. 35.
    Rudatsikira E, Muula AS, Siziya S (2010) Current use of smokeless tobacco among adolescents in the Republic of Congo. BMC Public Health 10:16PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. 36.
  37. 37.
  38. 38.
    McKinsey Global Institute (2010) Lions on the move: the progress and potential of African economies. Accessed 29 Dec 2011
  39. 39.
    Blake KD, Viswanath K, Blendon R et al (2010) The role of reported tobacco-specific media exposure on adult attitudes towards proposed policies to limit the portrayal of smoking in movies. Tob Control 19:191–196PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Adebola Odunlami Tafawa
    • 1
    • 2
  • Kasisomayajula Viswanath
    • 1
  • Ichiro Kawachi
    • 1
  • David R. Williams
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Society, Human Development, and HealthHarvard School of Public HealthBostonUSA
  2. 2.ChelseaUSA

Personalised recommendations