THE EFFECT OF HEALTH EDUCATION ON SMOKING AMONG ROAD TRANSPORT WORKERS IN YABA AND AMUWO - ODOFIN MOTOR PARKS, LAGOS STATE
Introduction: Tobacco is the only legally available consumer product which kills people when entirely used as expected. Children are the most vulnerable and the habit starts in youth. This study determined the effectiveness of health education on the knowledge of attitude to and practice of smoking among out of school road transport workers in Yaba motor park Lagos state.
Method: The study employed a quasi-experimental study designed in which all consenting out of school road transport workers working in the intervention and control parks were included. The respondents were interviewed in the motor parks using a pre-tested semi-structured interviewer-administered questionnaire. This was followed by health education on smoking directed only to the intervention community. The effect of this intervention on respondents (knowledge of, attitude to and habit of smoking) was evaluated three months after intervention. Computer analysis of the data was done using Epi Info version 3.4.1.
Results: This study showed that before the intervention, the mean knowledge score of the respondents in the intervention community was 8.1 and a third (33%) of the respondents in the intervention community had good knowledge of the harmful effect of smoking and. Also, the mean attitude score was 8.9 and 38% of the respondents had a negative attitude to smoking. There was a statistically significant association between the respondents smoking habit and the smoking habit of their parents, siblings, close friends as well as the respondents attitude towards smoking and cigarette advertisement (p<0.05). Also 41.7% of the respondents had ever smoked and 28% were currently smoking in the intervention community.
After the health education in the intervention community, mean knowledge score increased significantly from 8.1 to 10.3 the level of good knowledge of the health effects of smoking increased significantly from 33% to 54.3%, (p<0.05). The mean attitude score increased significantly from 8.9 to 10.7 while negative attitude towards smoking improved significantly from 38% to 46%, (p<0.05). There was no significant change in the proportion of current smokers or in the frequency of smoking post intervention (p>0.05) however, there was a statistically significant decrease in the number of sticks smoked daily from 7 to 5, (p<0.05). The proportion of current
smokers who wanted to quit increased significantly from 13.1% to 29.5%, (p<0.05). Also the proportion of respondents who had never smoked and did not want to smoke in the future increased significantly from 82.3% to 98.3%, (p<0.05). No significant changes were recorded in the control community.
Conclusion: This study has demonstrated a positive effect of health education intervention on out of school road transport workers as measured by their increased knowledge of and a more negative attitude to smoking, a reduction in the intention to smoke in the future among non smokers as well as an increase in the intention to quit among smokers. It is recommended that out of school young road transport workers should be reached with appropriate health education intervention to bring to their consciousness the harmful effects of smoking.