A qualitative study exploring the views on tobacco use and cessation support among patients in Kenya


  • Yvonne Olando Department of Psychology, University of Nairobi. https://orcid.org/0000-0003-1273-2316
  • Anindo Majumdar Department of Community & Family Medicine, All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Bhopal, India.
  • Aswathy Sreedev Department of Community medicine, Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, Kochi, India
  • Marie Chan Sun University of Mauritius, Reduit, Mauritius
  • Catriona Jennings National Institute for Prevention and Cardiovascular Health. National University of Ireland- Galway, Ireland
  • Kemi Tibazarwa Muhumbili National Hospital, Dares salaam, Tanzania
  • Holly Gray Rabin Martin, London, United Kingdom
  • Katarzyna Zatonska Department of Social Medicine, Medical University, Wroclaw


Tobacco use, cessation barriers, healthcare workers, qualitative study, Kenya


Tobacco use adversely affects the health of users, making hospitals a good place to introduce tobacco cessation efforts. However, most healthcare providers do not offer cessation support. This study sought to explore the views on tobacco use and cessation support among patients in Kenya. A qualitative approach was used. 19 patients were selected from various health facilities in Nairobi and Kisumu using purposive and snowball sampling. Semi-structured in-depth interviews were conducted by staff trained in qualitative interviewing between May 2017 and October 2017. The interviews were recorded and transcribed in their respective languages. Data management was done using Vivo version 10 software and analysed using content analysis method. Findings from this study revealed the following: Awareness regarding harmful effects: Participants were of view that tobacco use causes cancer, respiratory problems, impotence, lack of sleep and appetite and discoloration of the teeth. Lack of awareness regarding tobacco cessation clinics and lack of tobacco cessation interventions: Participants mentioned lack of awareness about any institutions which provide tobacco cessation services. Others mentioned that they had not been offered any support to quit; very few had been asked about their tobacco use status. Quitting tobacco use challenges: Respiratory problems, headache, lack of sleep and appetite, urge to smoke and the smell of smoke were the key challenges. Motivating factors to quit: Religion, support from family and friends, poor health condition, less availability of tobacco products and financial problems were the factors cited. Need for enhanced tobacco control: need for more awareness campaigns about harmful effects of tobacco use, provision of more tobacco cessation services, and implementing policies such as banning tobacco and increasing tax. There is need for multi-disciplinary efforts in Kenya to enhance tobacco control through awareness campaigns and integrating accessible and affordable tobacco cessation services within healthcare facilities.






Research article

How to Cite

A qualitative study exploring the views on tobacco use and cessation support among patients in Kenya. (2020). African Journal of Alcohol and Drug Abuse (AJADA), 4(1), 1-11. https://ajada.nacada.go.ke/index.php/ajada/article/view/21

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