Back to browse results
Tobacco use among adults with disabilities in nine countries–Demographic and Health Survey, 2016–2021
Authors: Alissa C. Kress, Aastha Vashist, Qing C. Zhang, Adriana Dragicevic, and Gibril J. Njie
Source: PLOS Global Public Health , Volume 4, issue 6; DOI:
Topic(s): Tobacco use
Country: Africa
Latin American/Caribbean
  South Africa
Published: JUN 2024
Abstract: Few studies have investigated tobacco use among people with disabilities living in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). We aimed to examine current tobacco use among men and women with disabilities using Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) data from 9 LMICs. We considered a respondent currently use tobacco products if they reported current use of any combustible/smoked tobacco products or smokeless tobacco products. We performed secondary analyses of DHS data from 2016–2021 collected in Haiti, Mali, Mauritania, Nigeria, Pakistan, Rwanda, South Africa, Timor-Leste, and Uganda. We examined marginal effects in logistic regression to calculate the adjusted prevalence and adjusted prevalence differences of tobacco use by disability status, controlling for selected sociodemographic characteristics. The adjusted prevalence of current use of tobacco products among women with a moderate/severe disability, mild disability, and no disability varied across countries, with medians of 1.9% (range = 0.1% [Mali] to 11.3% [Pakistan]), 3.2% (range = 0.9% [Nigeria] to 13.3% [South Africa]), and 2.3% (range = 0.5% [Nigeria] to 8.9% [South Africa]), respectively. For men with moderate/severe disability, the median adjusted prevalence for current use of tobacco products was 18.8% (range = 8.9% [Rwanda] to 55.0% [Timor-Leste]). The median prevalences of current use of tobacco products for men with mild disability and no disability were similar to those with moderate/severe disability, at 16.5% and 15.9%, respectively. Current tobacco product use among people with disabilities varied for countries included in our study; however, with few exceptions, current tobacco product use was similar across disability status groups. Additional research is warranted to determine whether our findings extend beyond the nine countries assessed here. It is important to consider the needs of people with disabilities in tobacco prevention, control, and cessation efforts so that this substantial population can benefit equitably from such programs, interventions, or policies.