264283 Religious beliefs and Egyptian adolescent males' smoking habits

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Lori Andersen, MEd, CHES , Department of Global Community Health and Behavioral Sciences, Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, New Orleans, LA
E. Cannon Ledford, MPH , Global Community Health and Behavioral Sciences, Tulane University, New Orleans, LA
Aubrey Madkour, PhD , Department of Global Community Health and Behavioral Sciences, Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, New Orleans, LA
Religion can impact how an individual thinks and acts. In the Muslim faith, the use of certain substances is either discouraged or prohibited through fatwas, or religious decrees. These religious decrees can have a strong influence on the types of behavior that a follower engages in. Because 90% of the Egyptian population ascribes to the teachings of Islam these fatwas may impact the Egyptian population health. Egypt also has a high smoking rate among the adult male population, despite having current fatwas that oppose smoking (Radwan, Israel, El-Setouhy, Abdel-Aziz, Mikhail & Mohamed, 2003). This study looked at male adolescent smokers' adherence to religious norms and its effect on smoking. Adolescent male data (n=1,937) obtained from the Global Youth Tobacco Survey were utilized (Egypt, 2005). Current smoking (past 30 days), smoking susceptibility (composite of openness to accepting a cigarette and intention to start smoking in the next year), and smoker's perceived religious norms were analyzed. A weighted logistic regression analysis was conducted (Stata 10.0). The results show that adherence to religious norms was significantly negatively associated with current youth smoking rates (OR= 0.561, p = 0.011), but not with susceptibility to smoking (OR= 0.827, p = 0.248). The results suggest that smoking initiation may influence perception of religious norms, thus a focus on religious fatwas may not be effective in reducing smoking initiation rates among Egyptian male youths. Future studies should examine other social factors that could contribute to youths' smoking initiation.

Learning Areas:
Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs

Learning Objectives:
Identify the relationship between religion and smoking habits in adolescent males in Egypt

Keywords: Adolescent Health, Tobacco

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am currently a PhD student and have presented multiple times in professional settings. I contributed to the work being done on this project.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.