Translational Biomedicine

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Alcohol and Tobacco Usage among Students in a Higher Education Institution in Lusaka, Zambia

Anitha Menon J, Kusanthan T and Sidney OC Mwaba

Background: About 190 million people consume drugs and alcohol worldwide with the majority of this number being the youth. In Zambia the consumption of alcohol and other drug abuse is on the increase with the majority of youths starting to consume alcohol at an early age.

Objectives: Aim of this paper is to explore the usage of alcohol and tobacco among University of Zambia students and factors contributing to this behavior.

Methods: This study utilized a cross-sectional quantitative survey method design. Approximately 800 undergraduate students were targeted and surveyed in classrooms selected through a stratified random sample procedure. Data was collected by a self-administered questionnaire using the Health and Behavior Survey and the Global School Health Survey.

Results: The results suggest that consumption of alcohol was higher than that of tobacco. The prevalence of tobacco and alcohol use occurs across all years. However, the use of tobacco products was higher among first years and drinking alcohol was high among fourth years.

Conclusions: It is prudent for institutions such as the University of Zambia who are looking after the youth and young adults for extended periods of time to put measures in place to curb such vices as regular and heavy consumption of alcohol.