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A gender-specific assessment of tobacco use risk factors: evidence from the latest Pakistan demographic and health survey
Authors: Faiqa Zubair, Muhammad Iftikhar ul Husnain, Ting Zhao, Hasnat Ahmad and Rasheda Khanam
Source: BMC Public Health, Volume 22, issue 1133; DOI:
Topic(s): Domestic violence
Tobacco use
Country: Asia
Published: JUN 2022
Abstract: Background: The high prevalence of tobacco use in Pakistan poses a substantial health and economic burden to Pakistani individuals, families, and society. However, a comprehensive assessment of the key risk factors of tobacco use in Pakistan is very limited in the literature. A better understanding of the key risk factors of tobacco use is needed to identify and implement effective tobacco control measures. Objectives: To investigate the key socioeconomic, demographic, and psychosocial determinants of tobacco smoking in a recent large nationally representative sample of Pakistani adults. Methods: N?=?18,737 participants (15,057 females and 3680 males) from the 2017–18 Pakistan Demographic Health Survey, aged 15–49?years, with data on smoking use and related factors were included. Characteristics of male and female participants were compared using T-tests (for continuous variables) and ?2-tests (for categorical variables). Multivariable logistic regression models were used to identify gender-specific risk factors of tobacco use. The Receiver Operating Characteristic Curve test was used to evaluate the predictive power of models. Results: We found that the probability of smoking for both males and females is significantly associated with factors such as their age, province/region of usual residence, education level, wealth, and marital status. For instance, the odds of smoking increased with age (from 1.00 [for ages 15–19?years] to 3.01 and 5.78 respectively for females and males aged 45–49?years) and decreased with increasing education (from 1.00 [for no education] to 0.47 and 0.50 for females and males with higher education) and wealth (from 1.00 [poorest] to 0.43 and 0.47 for richest females and males). Whilst the odd ratio of smoking for rural males (0.67) was significantly lower than that of urban males (1.00), the odds did not differ significantly between rural and urban females. Finally, factors such as occupation type, media influence, and domestic violence were associated with the probability of smoking for Pakistani females only. Conclusions: This study identified gender-specific factors contributing to the risk of tobacco usage in Pakistani adults, suggesting that policy interventions to curb tobacco consumption in Pakistan should be tailored to specific population sub-groups based on their sociodemographic and psychosocial features.