Socioeconomics of tobacco use in the Southern African Customs Union

Master Thesis


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University of Cape Town

Tobacco consumption has long been a significant health concern. This is because it is one of the significant causes of premature death, as a result of various types of diseases that arise due to the use of both smoking and smokeless tobacco. Tobacco use has been found to be associated significantly with socioeconomic status, and particularly, tobacco use has been found to be higher amongst individuals with lower socioeconomic status. This paper studies the relationship between socioeconomic factors and tobacco consumption for men and women from countries in the Southern African Customs Union, using data from the Demographic and Health Surveys for Namibia, Lesotho and Swaziland; and the National Income Dynamics Study for South Africa. This paper finds that among both men and women, cigarette use is higher in urban areas, while the use of chewing tobacco, snuff, and pipes is generally higher in rural areas. Also, this paper finds that tobacco use is generally lower the higher the educational attainment, while the prevalence of tobacco use is found to be higher in the older age groups compared to the younger age groups.

Includes bibliographical references.