Gender Differences in Smoking Attitude among Saudi Medical Students

Document Type : Research Articles


1 Department of Laboratory, Dhahran Eye Specialist Hospital, Ministry of Health, Dhahran, Saudi Arabia.

2 Infectious Disease Unit, Specialty Internal Medicine, Johns Hopkins Aramco Healthcare, Dhahran, Saudi Arabia.

3 Department of Medicine, School of Medicine, Indiana University, Indianapolis, IN, USA.

4 Department of Medicine, School of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, USA.

5 Department of Emergency, Al-Noor Specialist Hospital, Makkah, Saudi Arabia.

6 Department of Radiology, Qatif Central Hospital, Ministry of Health, Qatif, Saudi Arabia.

7 Department of Family Medicine, Abqaiq Primary Health Care Centers, Abqaiq General Hospital, Ministry of Health, Abqaiq, Saudi Arabia.

8 Dental Department, Alumran Primary Center, Ministry of Health, Al Ahsa, Saudi Arabia.

9 Department of Nursing Education, Jeddah Eye Hospital, Ministry of Health, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

10 Department of Public Health, College of Public Health, Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal University, Dammam, Saudi Arabia.

11 Technical and Vocational Training Corporation, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

12 Department of Quality and Patient Safety, Johns Hopkins Aramco Healthcare, Dhahran, Saudi Arabia.

13 Department of Family Medicine, Safwa Primary Health Care, Eastern Health Cluster, Ministry of Health, Saudi Arabia.

14 Department of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Applied Sciences, Umm Al-Qura University, Makkah, Saudi Arabia.

15 Department of Family Medicine, Al-Mansour Primary Health Care, Ministry of Health, Makkah, Saudi Arabia.

16 Alqudaih Health Center, Primary Health Care Centers in Qatif, Ministry of Health, Qatif, Saudi Arabia.

17 Dental Department, Aljaffer Primary Health Center, Primary Health Centers in Eastern Sector, Alahsa Health Cluster, Al Ahsa, Saudi Arabia.

18 Department of Public Health, College of Health Sciences, Saudi Electronic University, Dammam, Saudi Arabia.


Background: Smoking is a growing public health problem throughout the world. However, the attitude of males and females toward smoking may differ. Therefore, this study examines gender differences in smoking behavior and attitude among Saudi medical students. Methods: From January 2020 to August 2020, a snowball cross-sectional online survey was conducted in five major regions of Saudi Arabia. Medical students (18 years or older) were invited to respond to the questionnaire. Results: Out of the 421 respondents, 255 (60.6%) were female, 243 (57.7%) were between 18 and-24-year-old, and 164 (39%) were from the Eastern Province. The overall prevalence of smoking was 25.4% and was higher among males than females [(44% and 13.3%, respectively), P < 0.001]. However, there was no significant difference in the mean score of the overall attitude towards smoking between males and females [(3.02±0.44 and 3.00±0.34), respectively, P=0.64]. However, more female students believed e-cigarettes were harmful to health than male students [(4.19±1.04 and 4.45±0.9), respectively, P=0.002]. Conclusion: The study showed that male students smoke more than female students, and there were no significant differences in the overall attitudes score towards smoking. Therefore, campaigns are needed to decrease smoking rate, especially among male students.


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