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Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Prevalence of smoking among secondary school male students in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia: a survey study

Hashim R Fida* and Ismail Abdelmoneim

Author Affiliations

Family and Community Medicine Department, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

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BMC Public Health 2013, 13:1010  doi:10.1186/1471-2458-13-1010

Published: 25 October 2013

Abstract

Background

This study was conducted to examine the prevalence of smoking and the smoking habits among male secondary school students in Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and to assess their knowledge and attitudes towards smoking.

Methods

A cross-sectional study was conducted in Jeddah, using a two-stage cluster sample that randomly selected four schools from 85 public secondary schools for males. Data were obtained through a self-administered questionnaire containing questions on personal background, smoking behavior, knowledge, and behavior and attitudes towards smoking. A total of 695 students responded to the questionnaires with an 87.4% response rate.

Results

The age range of this student sample was 16–22 years. Two hundred fifty-eight (37%) of the study group were current smokers. The most common reasons given for smoking were personal choice (50.8%) and the peer pressure from smoker friends (32.8%). Many students researched the smoking hazards (68.1%), but only 47.6% knew about the bad effects of passive smoking. Two thirds of the smoking students wanted to quit smoking (63.2%), especially if suitable help was available, and 75.1% tried to quit. A third of the smoking students (36.8%) found it difficult to stop smoking in no-smoking areas.

Conclusion

A well-planned integrated antismoking campaign is urgently required, especially among students and teachers. Our study revealed that smoking prevalence was high, which will lead to future high smoking-related health problems if proper preventive measures are not taken accordingly.

Keywords:
Smoking; Prevalence; Male students; Secondary schools; Saudi Arabia