The Cigarette Market in Nigeria - Qualitative Consumer Behavior and Brand Status Study

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This article is part of the Tobacco portal on Sourcewatch funded from 2006 - 2009 by the American Legacy Foundation.

This marketing research report, The Cigarette Market in Nigeria - Qualitative Consumer Behavior and Brand Status Study, was prepared for British American Tobacco, Ltd. (BAT) in the United Kingdom and assesses the cigarette market in Nigeria.

The report, dated 1991, shows BAT's awareness that new smokers tend to start as young children in Nigeria:

New smokers enter the market at a very early age in many cases, as young as 8 or 9 years seems to be quite common. Most of our respondents had started smoking before they left junior school...Initially, smoking is motivated by curiosity and a desire to 'look big', but it rapidly becomes a habit and a necessity...

This report also made BAT aware, if they were not before, of the manner in which underage youth were able to obtain cigarettes in Nigeria:

young illicit smokers prefer to buy sticks [single cigarettes] (except when they are going out for the evening), as they can smoke them straight away in the street and avoid the problem of detection

The report also reveals BAT's awareness of the belief by many Nigerians that cigarettes offer physical and health benefits:

Smoking is widely seen to offer a number of benefits:

  • as in other African markets, it is believed to aid/speed digestion and to prevent vomiting after eating
  • smoking is said to aid/speed excretion - it is apparently common practice for smokers to have a cigarette when they go to the toilet
  • Smoking is believed to stimulate you when you are depressed (nicotine content relevant here)

The relationship between cigarettes and alcohol use is also highlighted:

Smoking is widely believed and used to heighten the effect of alcohol (the stronger the cigarette, the greater the effect)

  • cigarettes provide an alternative to alcohol for non-drinkers...

A discussion of the Nigerian public's perception of smoking reveals that "few, if any, smokers have really taken the dangers of smoking on board."

Title: The Cigarette Market in Nigeria Qualitative Consumer Behaviour and Brand Status Study
Author: Market Behaviour, Ltd., London
Document date: 19910725 (July 25, 1991)
Page count: 71
Bates number: 503886992/7062

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