Why do Adolescents smoke? Investigating the Cognitive Determinants of Tobacco Smoking Behaviour among Secondary School Adolescents in Ilala District


  • Divine Mwaluli


Cognitive, determinants, tobacco smoking, self-efficacy, self esteem


This paper is based on the study which explored the cognitive determinants of tobacco smoking among secondary school adolescents in Ilala district in Tanzania’s largest city, Dar Es Salam. Specifically, the study sought to explore the relationship between smoking, self-esteem, and self-efficacy. A cross-sectional survey was conducted among 400 secondary school adolescents, aged between 12 and 22. The findings revealed that there was significant a strong positive association between smoking and Self- efficacy [r = .80 p<.01] and a weak positive relationship between smoking and Self-esteem [r = .11, p<.05]. The study concluded that adolescents with low self -efficacy is more likely to smoke tobacco and adolescents with high self-esteem are more unlikely to smoke tobacco.   Based on the findings the paper recommended that self-efficacy and self-esteem must be taken seriously when considering intervention programs to prevent smoking. These intervention programs may include guidance and counselling services in and outside school settings.

Author Biography

Divine Mwaluli

The Open University of Tanzania