Tobacco Use Among Men in Sub-Saharan Africa: Does Family Structure Matter?

  • Lorretta Favour C. NtoimoEmail author
  • Clifford O. Odimegwu
  • Christiana A. Alex-Ojei


Over six million people die annually from tobacco use, with this total expected to exceed eight million by 2030. Most of these deaths are accounted for by men in less developed countries. However, factors associated with this harmful behaviour have received minimal scholarly attention in sub-Saharan Africa. Using four countries in sub-Saharan Africa with a varied prevalence of tobacco use, this study examines the role of family characteristics in predicting tobacco use by men in union. Data were obtained from Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) in Nigeria, Ethiopia, Gabon and Namibia. Descriptive results show that the highest prevalence of tobacco use was in Namibia, where close to 29% of the respondents used tobacco, whereas the least prevalence was in Nigeria (10.4%). There was a trend of declining prevalence of tobacco use among men in union in all the countries except in Gabon where there was no data to examine the trend. Controlling the effect of potential confounding variables in a logit model, family characteristics such as type of union, co-residence with wife, number of unions, duration of union, marital status and household wealth index were significantly associated with tobacco use. The findings are useful for gender-specific campaigns and family-focused programmes to reduce tobacco use among men in the region.


Tobacco use Union Men Family characteristics Sub-Saharan Africa 



The authors acknowledge the support of the DST-NRF Centre of Excellence in Human Development, South Africa. Opinions expressed and conclusions arrived at are those of the authors and are not to be attributed to the Centre of Excellence in Human Development.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lorretta Favour C. Ntoimo
    • 1
    Email author
  • Clifford O. Odimegwu
    • 2
  • Christiana A. Alex-Ojei
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Demography and Social StatisticsFederal UniversityOye-EkitiNigeria
  2. 2.Schools of Social Sciences and Public HealthUniversity of the WitwatersrandJohannesburgSouth Africa

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