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Saudi Med J. 2011 Aug;32(8):843-8.

Smoking habits among medical students in Western Saudi Arabia.

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College of Medicine, King Abdulaziz University, King Abdulaziz University Hospital, Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.



To estimate the prevalence of tobacco smoking, and understand the attitude, practice, and knowledge among medical students.


A cross-sectional study was conducted from September 2009 to May 2010. An anonymous, self-administered, Global Adult Tobacco Survey based questionnaire was completed by the students attending the main Medical College of King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.


Of the 643 students in the study, 90 students (14%) indicated that they smoked tobacco at the time of the study. The prevalence of smoking was 24.8% among males, and 9.1% among females. Smoking was more common in males (p=0.003), but there were more ex-smokers among females (p=0.042). The friends and parents were considered the primary influence for initiating smoking habit, followed by the media. Ninety percent thought that doctors should set a good example by not smoking. Most of the study population indicated that smoking is related to serious illnesses; however, non-smokers were better aware of such illnesses than smokers. Although most thought that smoking tobacco is harmful, approximately 9.5% believe that smoking a water pipe is not.


Despite the good knowledge on the hazards of tobacco consumption, 24.8% male, and 9.1% female medical students in Jeddah continue to smoke. The policymakers should address the factors contributing to the initiation, continuation, and spread of this devastating habit.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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