This paper reports the findings of a survey of smoking habits among secondary schoolchildren and medical students in Lagos, Nigeria. Altogether 40% of boys and 8.4% of girls at secondary school, and 72.4% of men and 22.2% of women at medical school were found to smoke. While the smoking habit of the secondary schoolboys was influenced by the smoking habits of their parents and friends, the smoking habit of the secondary schoolgirls and female medical students was mainly influenced by that of their friends. This study provides a baseline against which future studies on smoking habits in developing African countries may be measured, and the results show that health education on cigarette smoking must start in primary and secondary schools.
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