Cigarette smoking is one of the most significant preventable causes of death and illness in the world. The present study investigated tobacco smoking among patrons of joints in Amassoma, the host community of Niger Delta University. Participants’ awareness of various smoking-cessation products was also explored. Participants in the cross-sectional survey were 261 patrons of “Joints” or pubs in Amassoma, who completed and returned the research questionnaire with usable data. Informed consent was implied by participants’ voluntary completion and return of the research instrument. In terms of gender, 194 (74.3%) of the participants were males while 67 (25.7%) were females. Participants’ mean age was 25.7 ± 4.8. Age at smoking debut was 15.7 ± 7.6 years while age at regular smoking was 17.1 ± 8.3. 136 (72%) of respondents had made attempts to quit smoking in the past, 152 (80.4%) found it difficult or impossible to quit smoking while 173 (91.5%) felt in need of help to quit smoking. Findings indicated further that 91.5% of respondents who smoked also use other psychoactive substances. Level of awareness of smoking cessation products was very low among participants. There is need to sensitise stakeholders (smokers, researchers, and policy makers, governmental and non-governmental organizations) to the inherent dangers in cigarette smoking, and also to the availability of various effective smoking cessation products and techniques. These could go a long way in reducing the high mortality and morbidity associated with continued smoking.
Key words: Tobacco smoking, smoking-cessation products, awareness, university community.
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