3 years ago

Between Traditions and Health: Beliefs and Perceptions of Health Effects of Smokeless Tobacco Among Selected Users in Nigeria

Regina I Arobieke, Olufemi Adewole, Joshua – Aransiola, Temitope Oyelami, Michael Adewole Adedigba

Objectives: Snuffing or licking of smokeless tobacco (SLT) is one of the oldest traditional practices among the African population. This study aims to investigate the beliefs and practices related to SLT use among users in Nigeria. We also assess the awareness of the health consequences of SLT among users. Methods: A qualitative technique involving an in-depth interview was employed to collect data from SLT users from selected indigenous Nigerian populations in their traditional settings (Saki, Ile-Ife, Ibadan, and Abuja). The locations were purposively selected based on the researchers' knowledge of the prevalent use of SLT in those areas. A snowball sampling technique was employed to select the respondents. The data were imported into the ATLAS.ti computer software for analysis. The data were analyzed using inductive coding, and the results were presented thematically using network diagrams. Results: The findings revealed that the majority of SLT users believed that the practice had the following health benefits, among others: clearing of eyes and nose, aiding in sleep and rest, protecting against colds and nose bleeds and curing headaches. The users believed that SLT helped them ‘feel high’ or bold when afraid. The SLT users also believed that it protected them from evil spirit(s) and dangerous reptiles. The users believed that SLT had no negative health consequences, and SLT was generally preferred to smoking cigarettes. Conclusion: The study concludes that there is a need to focus on the control of SLT because this product is a major alternative to tobacco smoking among indigenous African populations.

Publisher URL: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/10826084.2017.1349796

DOI: 10.1080/10826084.2017.1349796

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