Tobacco Prevalence in Nigeria

At least 3.2 million (3.4%) Nigerians between the ages of 15 and 49 used tobacco in 2018 (NDHS, 2018).

About 200,000  tobacco users are women. Although cigarette smoking is the most common form of tobacco use in Nigeria, there are other unique forms of tobacco, such as emerging tobacco products, that are under-reported. 

This page provides information on tobacco use by gender, age, education, and location among Nigerians adults and discusses tobacco use among Nigerian youth (NDHS data only looks at people between the ages of 15 – 49).

Although prevalence is generally low in Nigeria, there are groups of people with high consumption rates and these might not be adequately captured in a household survey such as the Nigeria Demographic Health Survey (NDHS, 2018).

The NDHS has lower smoking prevalence than other surveys that focus on tobacco use, but this is the most recent nationally representative survey in Nigeria and is still useful for understanding how tobacco use is changing over time in Nigeria.

Studies that focus on high-risk groups, such as university students, truck drivers, and agberos have shown prevalence that is up to 4 times the rate of the general population.

The graphs in the tabs below represent the overall prevalence for any type of tobacco. Click on each tab to see more.

Nigerians aged 35 – 44 report the highest level of use of any type of tobacco (5.5%). Those younger than 25 use tobacco the least and fewer than 1% of 15 – 19 year olds report using tobacco. However, the NDHS may not accurately capture prevalence among young people in Nigeria.

It is a household survey and does not survey those living in institutions such as universities where smoking prevalence is known to be high. The actual prevalence for young people is probably higher than the rate reported in the NDHS.

Prevalence of Tobacco Use by Age Group

15-1920-2425-2930-3435-3940-4445-490.0%1.0%2.0%3.0%4.0%5.0%6.0%Prevalence (%)0.5%1.6%3.2%4.6%5.5%5.5%4.9%

Data source: NDHS 2018