Annals of African Medicine
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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2008  |  Volume : 7  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 175-179

Marijuana smoking among secondary school students in Zaria, Nigeria: Factors responsible and effects on academic performance


Department of Community Medicine, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
A U Shehu
Department of Community Medicine, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria
Nigeria
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/1596-3519.55657

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Background: The use of Marijuana is on the increase worldwide especially among adolescents and youths. Marijuana smoking has gained a foothold in our environment because of peer group influence, accessibility and availability. Its medico-social effects could ruin the life and future of our youths. This study was undertaken to determine the prevalence and the factors that influence secondary school students in Zaria LGA to smoke and the effects on academic performance. Methods: A cross-sectional descriptive study was employed to generate data among secondary school students. A multi-stage sampling technique was used. Data was collected with the use of a structured, pre tested self-administered questionnaire. χ2 test was used to test for significance of association between categorical variables. Results: Of the 350 respondents, 262 (74.9%) were males, while 88 (25.1%) were females. The study shows that 33 of the students smoke marijuana giving a prevalence of 9.4%. There were more smokers in the age group 15-19 years (54.6%). Other factors that influence marijuana smoking include family background, peer pressure and attendance of social functions. There was better academic performance (51.1%) among non smokers as compared to smokers (27.2%), and this was found to be statistically significant (x2 =11.73,df=5,P<.05) There was also statistically significant association between age and marijuana smoking (x2 =24,df=2,P<.05) Conclusion: The prevalence of marijuana smoking is high. Age, family background, peer pressure and attendance of social function influence marijuana smoking. A comprehensive school health education program should be instituted to curtail this menace.


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