Original Research

Prevalence and determinants of tobacco use amongst South African adults with mental illness in the Eastern Cape

Linda K. Tindimwebwa, Anthony I. Ajayi, Oladele V. Adeniyi
South African Journal of Psychiatry | Vol 27 | a1637 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajpsychiatry.v27i0.1637 | © 2021 Linda K. Tindimwebwa, Anthony I. Ajayi, Oladele V. Adeniyi | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 27 September 2020 | Published: 14 June 2021

About the author(s)

Linda K. Tindimwebwa, Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Health Sciences, Walter Sisulu University, East London, South Africa; and, Cecilia Makiwane Hospital, East London, South Africa
Anthony I. Ajayi, Population Dynamics and Sexual and Reproductive Health Research, African Population and Health Research Centre, Nairobi, Kenya
Oladele V. Adeniyi, Cecilia Makiwane Hospital, East London, South Africa; and, Department of Family Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, Walter Sisulu University, East London, South Africa


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Abstract

Background: Given the physical and mental health consequences of tobacco use amongst individuals with mental illness, it was imperative to assess the burden of tobacco use in this population.

Aim: This study examined the patterns and factors associated with tobacco use in individuals attending the outpatient unit.

Setting: Cecilia Makiwane Hospital Mental Health Department in Eastern Cape province, South Africa.

Methods: Lifetime (ever use) use and current use of any tobacco products were examined in a cross-sectional study of 390 individuals between March and June 2020. A logistic regression was fitted to determine the correlates of lifetime and current use of any tobacco products.

Results: The rates of ever use and current use of tobacco products were 59.4% and 44.6%, respectively. Of the participants interviewed, lifetime tobacco use was more prevalent amongst individuals with schizophrenia (67.9%) and cannabis-induced disorders (97.3%) and lower in those with major depressive disorders (36.1%) and bipolar and related disorders (43.5%). Men were six times more likely to have ever used or currently use tobacco products in comparison to women. Also, those who had a salaried job or owned a business were over three times more likely to have ever used or currently use tobacco products compared with those receiving government social grants.

Conclusions: The prevalence of tobacco use in this study was significantly higher than the general population in the Eastern Cape. Therefore, smoking prevention and cessation interventions targeted at the general population should target this often neglected sub-population in the region.


Keywords

Eastern Cape province; mental health users; mental illness; South Africa; tobacco use

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