Original Research

Evolution of attitudes, trends and perceptions of smoking among middle and secondary school students in the Gharb Region, Morocco, 2010–2015

Samir Mounach, Fatima-Ezzahra Zahrou, Elkhansa Mahdaoui, Latifa Belakhel, Youssef C. Khazraji, Hicham El Berri
African Journal of Primary Health Care & Family Medicine | Vol 11, No 1 | a1914 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/phcfm.v11i1.1914 | © 2019 Samir Mounach, Fatima-Ezzahra Zahrou, Elkhansa Mahdaoui, Latifa Belakhel, Youssef C. Khazraji, Hicham El Berri | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 15 August 2018 | Published: 19 June 2019

About the author(s)

Samir Mounach, National Surveillance Unit, Directorate of Epidemiology and Disease Control, Ministry of Health, Rabat, Morocco
Fatima-Ezzahra Zahrou, Non-Communicable Diseases Division, Directorate of Epidemiology and Disease Control, Ministry of Health, Rabat, Morocco
Elkhansa Mahdaoui, Non-Communicable Diseases Division, Directorate of Epidemiology and Disease Control, Ministry of Health, Rabat, Morocco
Latifa Belakhel, Non-Communicable Diseases Division, Directorate of Epidemiology and Disease Control, Ministry of Health, Rabat, Morocco
Youssef C. Khazraji, Lalla Salma Foundation, Cancer Prevention and Treatment, Rabat, Morocco
Hicham El Berri, Non-Communicable Diseases Division, Directorate of Epidemiology and Disease Control, Ministry of Health, Rabat, Morocco


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Abstract

Background: Tobacco use is an important public health issue. Morocco implemented a tobacco control programme, which has been ongoing among students at middle and secondary schools since 2010.

Aim: This study aims to compare the trend in smoking among the programme beneficiaries with the results of the initial study conducted prior to the implementation of the programme.

Setting: This study was conducted in middle and secondary schools of the Gharb Region in Morocco between 2010 and 2015.

Methods: Two cross-sectional studies were conducted in 2010 and 2015 in the middle and secondary schools of the Gharb Region. Multistage cluster sampling was used. The information was collected using a self-administered questionnaire.

Results: In the first study in 2010, 5312 students participated, and in the second one in 2015, 4208 students participated. The level of information on smoking and its effects was higher in 2015 (94.0%) than in 2010 (92.5%). In 2010, parents, primary schools and television and radio were more involved in student information on smoking compared to 2015. The proportion of students claiming that tobacco was not a pleasure (86.3%) and that it does not calm nerves (76.5%) was significantly higher in 2015 than in 2010. The prevalence of smoking increased significantly in 2015 (2.9%) against 2010 (1.8%).

Conclusion: This study reports the general positive evolution in knowledge about smoking and its effects. Despite that the prevalence of smokers increased in 2015. The results suggest the need to address family influences on adolescent smoking and to investigate participation of schools in education and training students in tobacco dependence prevention.


Keywords

tobacco control programme; Morocco; smoking behaviour; student; perception.

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