Alcohol use, drunkenness and tobacco smoking in rural western Kenya

Type Journal Article - Tropical Medicine & International Health
Title Alcohol use, drunkenness and tobacco smoking in rural western Kenya
Volume 18
Issue 4
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2013
Page numbers 506-515
objectives To describe the prevalence of smoking and alcohol use and abuse in an impoverished
rural region of western Kenya.
methods Picked from a population-based longitudinal database of demographic and health census
data, 72 292 adults ( 18 years) were asked to self-report their recent (within the past 30 days) and
lifetime use of tobacco and alcohol and frequency of recent ‘drunkenness’.
results Overall prevalence of ever smoking was 11.2% (11.0–11.5) and of ever drinking, 20.7%
(20.4–21.0). The prevalence of current smoking was 6.3% (6.1–6.5); 5.7% (5.5–5.9) smoked daily.
7.3% (7.1–7.5) reported drinking alcohol within the past 30 days. Of these, 60.3% (58.9–61.6)
reported being drunk on half or more of all drinking occasions. The percentage of current smokers
rose with the number of drinking days in a month (P < 0.0001). Tobacco and alcohol use increased
with decreasing socio-economic status and amongst women in the oldest age group (P < 0.0001).
conclusions Tobacco and alcohol use are prevalent in this rural region of Kenya. Abuse of alcohol
is common and likely influenced by the availability of cheap, home-manufactured alcohol.
Appropriate evidence-based policies to reduce alcohol and tobacco use should be widely implemented
and complemented by public health efforts to increase awareness of their harmful effects.

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