Awareness of harmful effects on tobacco smoking among adult male smokers in Sri Lanka: a cross sectional study

Chathurika Udeni, Ashani N. Ariyadasa, Anjali N. Sathkoralage, Imasha T. P. Wimaladasa, Hiranya N. Fernando, Lahiru S. Galgamuwa, Prasanna Herath, Nishantha Kumarasinghe


Background: Smoking of tobacco products is the second major cause of morbidity and mortality in worldwide. The objective of this study was to evaluate the awareness of the harmful effects on tobacco smoking among adult male smokers and their spouses in Sri Lanka.

Methods: A cross sectional study was conducted among adult male smokers in Gampaha district was recruited. An interviewer administered questionnaire inquired participants' awareness about diseases caused by smoking.

Results: Majority of participants (95.3%) were aware of the adverse effects of tobacco consumption on health. A total of 93.4% had knowledge that smoking is harmful to others. Majority of male smokers were aware of adverse effects on respiratory, cardiac and circulatory systems. However, the awareness of the association between impotence, infertility, birth defects and premature births with smoking is low in smokers.

Conclusions: Majority of smokers have sufficient knowledge of harmful effects on health from smoking. Community awareness programs of adverse effects must be held targeting all the population including school children. Anti-smoking campaigns must be initiated in a broad manner, specially targeting the smoking population.


Health effect, Sri Lanka, Smoking, Tobacco

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