Original Research

Perceptions of students regarding the effects of the implementation of the tobacco control act of 1999 on a South African University campus

Muhamed Waseem Khan, Varsha Hira, Firoza Haffejee
South African Family Practice | Vol 59, No 1 : January/February| a4540 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/safp.v59i1.4540 | ©
Submitted: 08 August 2016 | Published: 06 March 2017

About the author(s)

Muhamed Waseem Khan, Durban University of Technology, South Africa
Varsha Hira, Durban University of Technology, South Africa
Firoza Haffejee, Durban University of Technology, South Africa

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Abstract

Background: Smoking among adolescents is high. In order to curb the habit, restrictions on use of tobacco products in public places were implemented in South Africa. This study aimed to explore students’ perceptions of whether the implementation of smoking restrictions and no-smoking signs have had any effects on smoking behaviours on campus.

Methods: A quantitative cross-sectional study was conducted amongst university students, who completed a self-administered questionnaire.

Results: Students were aware that smoking causes disease and that second-hand smoke is dangerous. The majority were pleased that there was a smoking regulation in effect, but disagreed that it created a healthier atmosphere. Many would like a total ban enforced in restaurants, clubs, bars and university campuses. They felt that there were insufficient non-smoking signs in public areas. Many smokers stated that they ignored regulations and only a minority stated that the policy encouraged smokers to quit.

Conclusion: Smoking among students has decreased over the years. This has been accompanied by an increase in knowledge of the harmful effects of smoking. Regulations have thus had a positive effect; however, additional efforts are required to motivate more people to quit smoking altogether and to prevent young people from taking up the habit.

(Full text of the research articles are available online at www.medpharm.tandfonline.com/ojfp)

S Afr Fam Pract 2017; DOI: 10.1080/20786190.2016.1254930

Keywords

Smoking; South Africa; smoking regulations; university students; Tobacco Control Act

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