MOH News

Smoking Rates Decrease among Saudi Young People, a Study Confirms
08 August 2011
    Within its efforts to promote tobacco control, the Ministry of Health conducted lately a study about fighting tobacco.
The study was implemented under direct guidance of His Excellency the Minister of Health, Dr. Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz Al Rabeeah, to pay attention to the prevention aspect and to focus on health education using scientific approaches.
With the participation of World Health Organization and U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), The study has pointed out that tobacco abuse among Saudi young people aged 13-15 years has decreased from 19.3% in 1428 to 14.9% in 1431.
Assistant Deputy Minister of Health for Preventive Medicine, Dr. Ziad Memish, pointed out that the study covered 50 elementary schools all over the Kingdom (25 schools for boys, other 25 for girls) including totally 1715 students (788 males, 927 females).
He added that according to the study results, (Global Survey of the Prevalence of Smoking among Young People in the Kingdom), about 30% of young people surveyed, live with people smoking around them, and 65% of smokers in this age group want to quit smoking.
Moreover, the survey results elaborated that 14.9% (21.2% males, 9.1% females) currently use tobacco products, and 8.9% (3.0% males, 5.0% females) currently smokes cigarettes, while other 9.5% tend to smoke Shisha (13.3% males, 6.1% females).
Furthermore, He added that 25.3% of the students surveyed believe that male smokers are more attractive than non-smokers, while 17.5 % believe that female smokers are more attractive than non-smokers. This shows the necessity to have awareness campaigns launched to change such a misconception. The study also showed that 63.8% of the surveyed know thoroughly about the dangerous effects resulting from tobacco, in addition to 31.1% discussed at classes the reasons why people in this age started smoking last year, and 42.1% had lessons that explore the dangers of smoking at classrooms last year.
He added that people exposed to secondhand smoke reached 29.5% as they live with people smoking around them, and 37.5% exposed to the smoke of others outside their homes, while 76.5% support smoking bans in public places. In addition, 64.8% want to quit smoking, and 68.0% received assistance for quit.
On the other hand, the General Supervisor of Tobacco Control Program at the Ministry and Secretary General of the National Committee for Tobacco Control, Dr. Majed bin Abdullah Al Muneef, appreciated the officials of the Ministry of Education for their cooperation with the coordinators of Tobacco Control Program at health affairs directorates over the Kingdom’s regions to conduct this national study successfully.
He added that smoking prevalence rates among Health College students and among elementary school teachers will be announced soon. In addition, the Ministry has been planning to conduct a comprehensive survey on smoking prevalence among adults in the Kingdom whose ages are above 16. Such studies provide a lot of indicators that can be used in awareness and treatment campaigns to control tobacco in the Kingdom.

Last Update : 09 August 2011 04:10 PM
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