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Alcohol use, drunkenness and tobacco smoking in rural western Kenya

Lo, T. Q., Oeltmann, J. E., Odhiambo, F. O., Beynon, C., Pevzner, E., Cain, K. P., Laserson, K.F. and Phillips-Howard, Penelope ORCID: (2013) 'Alcohol use, drunkenness and tobacco smoking in rural western Kenya'. Tropical Medicine & International Health, Vol 18, Issue 4, pp. 506-515.

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To describe the prevalence of smoking and alcohol use and abuse in an impoverished rural region of western Kenya.


Picked from a population-based longitudinal database of demographic and health census data, 72 292 adults (≥18 years) were asked to self-report their recent (within the past 30 days) and lifetime use of tobacco and alcohol and frequency of recent ‘drunkenness’.


Overall prevalence of ever smoking was 11.2% (11.0–11.5) and of ever drinking, 20.7% (20.4–21.0). The prevalence of current smoking was 6.3% (6.1–6.5); 5.7% (5.5–5.9) smoked daily. 7.3% (7.1–7.5) reported drinking alcohol within the past 30 days. Of these, 60.3% (58.9–61.6) reported being drunk on half or more of all drinking occasions. The percentage of current smokers rose with the number of drinking days in a month (P < 0.0001). Tobacco and alcohol use increased with decreasing socio-economic status and amongst women in the oldest age group (P < 0.0001).


Tobacco and alcohol use are prevalent in this rural region of Kenya. Abuse of alcohol is common and likely influenced by the availability of cheap, home-manufactured alcohol. Appropriate evidence-based policies to reduce alcohol and tobacco use should be widely implemented and complemented by public health efforts to increase awareness of their harmful effects.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: WA Public Health > WA 30 Socioeconomic factors in public health (General)
WA Public Health > Health Problems of Special Population Groups > WA 395 Health in developing countries
WM Psychiatry > WM 20 Research (General)
Faculty: Department: Clinical Sciences & International Health > Clinical Sciences Department
Digital Object Identifer (DOI):
Depositing User: Lynn Roberts-Maloney
Date Deposited: 27 Feb 2015 11:14
Last Modified: 13 Sep 2019 14:16


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