An Investigation Into The Smoking Habit Among Senior Secondary School Students

Project and Seminar Material for Sociology

An Investigation Into The Smoking Habit Among Senior Secondary School Students


This research was undertaken to study the smoking habit among senior secondary school students in Agege Local Government Area of Lagos State. The aim of the study was to let them the knowledge on the negative effect smoking has on their health, their academic performances and leadership role in our society. The sample for the study consisted of two hundred students drawn from selected senior secondary schools in Agage Local Government Area of Lagos State twenty students randomly selected from each school. Two questionnaires were used each of the questionnaire contain twenty items. The questionnaires were collected and marked. The data collected was presented and analyzed in table with number of respondents and percentages.

The main findings were discussed and conclusion reached that: Smokers are prone to constant illness as a result of damage done to their physiological make-up such as the respiratory tract and reducing their body oxygen level. The influence of the various people like friends and parents is a contributory factor to the smoking habits among students. The promotion of cigarette smoking through advertisement in magazines and other mass media, reinforce smoking habits of student and as such they find it difficult to discontinue. Smoking waste a lot of money and other more important things such as food and books are neglected due to special preference given to smoking. Students are ignorant of the hazards of smoking. A far reaching recommendation was made in this study which will help the students to keep off smoking and utilized their time in more useful activities.

Chapter One


1.1 Background of the Study

Smoking is a habit that is developed gradually. It is ill-health behaviour and exposes the individual to a lot of health hazards. Cigarette smoking is commonly seen in adolescents. These cigarettes are made of tobacco which contains nicotine, which is very deadly and poisonous in nature.

Smoking in adolescent has been a major health problem as the’ adolescent sees smoking as an indication of maturity. They believe it makes them tough. Unfortunately; these students are misinformed either by friends through the radio, television and some parents and teachers do smoke and it will be difficult to convince the adolescences otherwise. It is highly disturbing to find this bad habit among so many secondary school students. It may start as a result of rebellion and as a way of showing off to their school mates or peer group but soon becomes a bad habit which is difficult to stop. Most people who smoke feel a need to continue and increase cigarette smoking in order to relieve nervous tension, frustration, cover up shyness or just for pleasure. They believe one or two sticks a day is harmless but gradually increase the number until a dangerous addiction result. The harmful effects of cigarette smoking cannot be over­emphasized, the tars and nicotine content is a major cause of lungs cancer and if predisposed to a lot of lungs infection and diseases.

In modern day societies, smoking tobacco is an accepted habit with· adults of all age groups and both sex. This practice used to be socially acceptable in Europe and the United States of America but it is less now. Laws have been passes in some American states restricting or banning smoking. People can no longer smoke in public places like bars, restaurants and clubs. While in Africa similar laws that are supposed to be in effect have remain on paper and little restrictions on where people can or cannot smoke.

In Nigeria, it is reported that many people are prone to picking up cigarette smoking habit due to the false sense of stardom created through active temperamental and sensual advertisement that adorn bill boards and the print media, their echo through the radio and television is absolutely overwhelming.

Despite the warning by federal ministry of health that cigarette smoking is dangerous to health and that smokers are liable to die young. Smoking in adolescents is found to be on the increase as the habit is seen as an indication of maturity and gives them a feeling of belonging. Smoking is becoming more popular in Nigeria and it is seen as a profitable business in which the federal government of Nigeria believe it will attract foreign investment and as such the present democratic government led by former president Olusegun Obasanjo signed an agreement with British American Tobacco (BAT) in London for business operation in Nigeria to which a sum of one hundred and fifty million dollars had been pumped into Nigeria economy for their operation between year 2001 and 2002 on the tobacco related industry.

These industries have their operational based in Ibadan in named British American Tobacco Nigeria (BAT, Nigeria) and it has several areas of hand in use for growing tobacco leaf. So rather than import or smuggle cigarette into the country, the company is now embedded in the country to grow process and distribute their products directly to the people of Nigeria.

What is more disturbing to the researcher and a health educator is that such things like advertisement of cigarette on the bill board which has been banned in Britain as far back as 1965 now freely adorn the big expensive and attractive billboards in Nigeria advertising different brands of cigarette only with a little inscription on it that is hardly readable stating that “the Federal Ministry of Health warns that smokers are liable to Die Young.”

In 1983, based on the established facts that medical and scientific research has regarded cigarette smoking as a very dangerous human killer. The Royal College of Physicians in London has declared the following statements of action. “The health risk of smoking do not lessen with the passage of years, rather they increase as more and more super smoking”. The urgency for action remains as strong as ever, especially for Arab and Africa countries because the smoking of cigarette in Western nation of American and European is falling at a rate of 1.0 to 1.5 percent per year due to vigorous anti-smoking campaign while the rate of smoking is increasing in Arab and African countries at a rte of 2.0 percent per year.

It is also worthy to note that the smoker is not only killing him/herself gradually, but carries along a lot of other passive smokers and equally endangers their lives. Abdul-Kareem (1999) reported that passive smoker inhales more potent smoke than those inhaled by the smokers. This was demonstrated by the work of Charles humber and his colleagues in Evans country of Georgia U.S.A in 1990 on 5/3 rural women non-smokers married· to smokers. It was shown conclusively for over a 20 years period, the inhaled smoker from their husband’s cigarette smoking caused cardiovascular diseases and mortality (death) in all the 5/3 non-smoking wives. This is why the cigarette smoker is a subtle but dangerous human killer (Charles, et al, 1990), Wilson, 1975).

Hence, it is important that parents and school authorities co­operate to discourage adolescents from starting smoking habit which is dangerous and difficult to stop. So, the dangers of smoking and the increasing rate in adolescents in school has prompted the researcher into investigating the smoking habits of senior secondary school students.

1.2 Statement of the Problems

The study is primarily examine the pains that smoking is causing, that makes people, particularly secondary school student to lament. Smoking in senior secondary schools has cause some major health problem like. Chronic pain such as having chronic back pain and neck pain which contribute to osteoporosis and the deterioration of spinal discs, conditions like arthritis and some effect on the on the nervous system.

The peer group, parental and societal influences “among others have been known to be the major cause of smoking among senior secondary schools.

In the light of the above, the study intends to examine the effects of smoking among students in some selected secondary school in Agege Local government area of Lagos State.

1.3 Purpose of the Study

The main purposes of the study are to:

  1. Examine the causes of smoking among senior secondary school.
  2. Examine the knowledge of the students smoking and their health in senor secondary schools.
  3. Examine the effects of smoking among senior secondary school academic performance.
  4. Suggest ways of curbing smoking among students.

1.4 Research Questions

What are the effects of smoking among senior secondary school students in Agege local government Area?

  1. What are the causes of smoking among senior secondary school students?
  2. What are the knowledge of the students smoking and their health in senior secondary schools?
  3. What are the effects of smoking on students academic performance?
  4. What are the ways of give curbing smoking among student?

1.5 Research Hypotheses

The following research hypotheses were formulated and tested In the study:

  1. There will be no significant relationship between the causes and effects of smoking among senior secondary school.
  2. Their will be no significant relationship between parental and societal influences on how smoking habits start in senior secondary students.
  3. There will be no significant relationship between knowledge of the harmful effects of smoking on health of senior secondary school students.

1.6 Delimitation

The study was delimited to the following senior secondary schools, both male and female in Agege local government area of Lagos state, out of about twenty one schools, this was to make for easy and effective coverage:

  1. Keke senior secondary school
  2. Sango senior secondary school
  3. Dairy-Farm senior secondary school
  4. St. Joseph secondary school
  5. Saka Tinubu secondary school
  6. Vatland Grammar school
  7. State High school, Mulero
  8. Community high school, Orile
  9. Jubril Martins secondary school
  10. Oyewole high school, Agege.

1.7 Limitation

The study carried out in only seven selected senior secondary schools in Agege local government area of Lagos state.

But time and fund constrains, wider area (schools) would have been covered nevertheless, the selected schools are representative of the other schools in the state in specific and Nigeria as a whole.

1.8 Significance of the study

The significant of the study include the following:

  1. The result of the study would assist in identifying various reasons why senior secondary school students smoke.
  2. The findings of the study would guide school authorities and parents in preventing and controlling smoking in students.
  3. The result of the study could guide policy makers, government and voluntary agencies in determining the appropriate method and laws to prevent students from smoking.
  4. The finding of the students would serve as a reference material for researchers in this and related area of study.

1.9 Definition of key terms


Plant having leaves which are dried cured and used for smoking in (pipes, cigars, or snuff)


Poisonous oily substance in tobacco leaves.


A dark coloured viscid oily liquid obtained by the dry distillation of organic bodies.


Period of life between childhood and maturity. Addiction: Habitually or compulsively. A habit which one cannot do without.


A process of pouring out smoke or visible vapour with particles of carbon and other hazardous dangerous element.


Settled practice that cannot easily be given up or do away with.

Passive smoker:

These are those who are indirectly inhaling nicotine and other dangerous elements form a direct smoker.


Local Government to Town where the research is carried out.

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