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OBJECTIVES: This study aimed to determine the prevalence and underlying sociodemographic correlates of smoking among Sri Lankans. METHODS: A cross-sectional sample (N = 5000, age >18 years) was selected using a multistage random cluster sampling. Data were collected using an interviewer-administered questionnaire. RESULTS: Response rate was 91% (n = 4532); males 40%; mean age 46.1 years (±15.1). Overall, urban and rural prevalence of current smoking (smoking) was 18.3%, 17.2%, and 18.5%, respectively (P = nonsignificant, urban vs rural). Smoking was much higher in males than in females (38.0% vs 0.1%, P < .0001). Ex-smokers comprised 10.0% (males 20.7%, females 0.1%, P < .0001). Among the smokers 87.0% smoked <10 cigarettes per day. The male age groups < 20 and 20 to 29 years had the lowest (15.6%) and the highest (44.6%) prevalence of smoking, respectively. In males, smoking was highest in the least educated (odds ratio = 1.96, P = .001). CONCLUSIONS: Smoking is common among Sri Lankan males and is associated with lower education, income, and middle age.

Original publication




Journal article


Asia Pac J Public Health

Publication Date





861 - 869


Adult, Aged, Cross-Sectional Studies, Female, Humans, Interviews as Topic, Male, Middle Aged, Smoking, Sri Lanka, Young Adult