Faculty of Public Health - Andalas University - OCS, 13th IEA SEA Meeting and ICPH - SDev

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Education level vs. knowledge about smoking hazards in SEA countries: What works?

Last modified: 2018-08-07


Background: This study explores relationship between education level, knowledge about smoking hazards and smoking in SEA countries.

Materials and methods: Global Adult Tobacco Survey data (first-wave) of India, Indonesia, Bangladesh and Thailand was used for multi-stratified analysis relating knowledge level, and knowledge (general & specific) of smoking hazard, with smoking prevalence (daily or less than daily).


Results:Overall daily smoking was significantly higher than less-than-daily smokingin each country irrespective of education level or knowledge. Prevalence of smoking among low educated population (India-15.9%, Bangladesh-24.7%, Indonesia-37.5%, Thailand-26.1%) was always higher than population with general knowledge of smoking hazard(India-13.5%, Bangladesh-22.8%, Indonesia-32.9%, Thailand-23.4%). The smoking prevalence among high knowledge level group was 1.1-2 times higher than the high education level group (India-8.3%vs.12.3%, Bangladesh-19.8%vs.24.1%, Indonesia-27.6%vs.30.4%, Thailand-11.7%vs.22.9%). Multi-stratification suggests clear and significant (p<0.001) gradient in smoking prevalence among people with generic knowledge and specific knowledge level within each educational level group in all countries except in middle educational level in Thailand and low education group in Bangladesh.

Conclusions: Generic and specific knowledge is associated with lower smoking prevalence with minor exceptions in SEA countries. General population irrespective educational level must be educated about tobacco hazards.


Keywords:  Knowledge about tobacco hazards, Education level, Smoking, SEA