Patterns of Use, Cessation Behavior and Socio-Demographic Factors Associated with Smoking in Saudi Arabia: a Cross- Sectional Multi-Step Study


Smoking is accountable for the fatality of a substantial number of persons and increases the likelihood of cancer and cardiovascular diseases. Although data have shown high prevalence rates of cigarette smoking in Saudi Arabia, relatively little is known about the broader scope. The objectives of this study were to investigate socio-demographic factors, patterns of use and cessation behavior associated with smoking in Saudi Arabia (KSA). The study utilized a cross-sectional, multi-step design of sampling. Residents (N=1,497; aged 15 years and older) were recruited from seven administrative areas in Southwest Saudi Arabia. A pretested questionnaire was utilized to obtain data on participant cigarette smoking, including their daily use, age, education, income, marital status and employment status. The current study is the first of its kind to gather data cessation behavior of Saudi subjects. With the exception of 1.5% females, all the respondents were male. The majority of the respondents were married, had a university level of education, were employed, and were younger than 34 years old. The same trends were also observed among smokers’ samples. The current prevalence of cigarette smoking was 49.2% and 65.7% of smokers had smoking at less than 18 years of age. The mean daily use amongst smokers was 7.98 cigarettes (SD=4.587). More than 50% of the study sample had tried at least once to quit smoking. However, 42% of the smokers participating had never. On the other hand, about 25% of the respondents were willing to consider quitting smoking in the future. Modeling of cigarette smoking suggested that the most significant independent predictors of smoking behavior were geographic area, gender, marital status, education, job and age. Considerable variation in smoking prevalence was noted related with participant sociodemographics. Findings recommend the necessity for control and intervention programs in Saudi community.