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Ann Thorac Med. 2019 Jan-Mar;14(1):56-62. doi: 10.4103/atm.ATM_76_18.

Electronic cigarette among health science students in Saudi Arabia.

Author information

Pulmonary Section, Department of Internal Medicine, King Saud Bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences, King Abdulaziz Medical City, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
Department of Respiratory Therapy, College of Applied Medical Sciences, King Saud Bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
Pulmonary Unit, Department of Internal Medicine, Mouwasat Hospital, Dammam, Saudi Arabia.
Department of Medicine, University of Jeddah, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.



Electronic cigarette (E-cigarette) is an electronic nicotine delivery device that has been advocated as a safe alternative for cigarette smokers. Since the introduction of E-cigarette internationally and in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), it gained popularity, particularly among the youth and young adults. Moreover, many nonsmoker (nicotine-naïve) youth started to use E-cigarette as a new social habit. Recent researches have casted shadows on the E-cigarette safety profile.


The aim of this study is to assess the prevalence of E-cigarette use among students of health science colleges in Jeddah-KSA. It also assesses E-cigarette effectiveness as a smoking cessation method and its possible addictiveness.


The study is an epidemiological, cross-sectional study, which was conducted between November 2017 and December 2017 in three different universities in Jeddah. A self-administered online questionnaire related to E-cigarette and the conventional cigarette was used.


A total of 1007 completed an electronic survey which was distributed to 3000 health sciences colleges' students. Of the participants 14.1% were cigarette smoker, 46% of them smoke regularly. Students who smoke half a pack per day and above were 22% of the smokers. More college students use the E-cigarette (27.7%). Moreover, one-fifth of the E-cigarettes users were using it on the regular daily basis. The study found that 42.7% of E-cigarettes users have used it as a tool to quit smoking. Interestingly, more than half (56.7%) of the students who used it to stop smoking has succeeded. However, only 46% of E-cigarettes users who tried to quit vaping have succeeded. Young aged, students believed that smoking is more addictive than vaping or recommended E-cigarette for smoking cessation found to have a higher chance of quitting smoking in the univariate regression analysis. While, in the multivariate analysis, students who believed that conventional smoking is more addictive than E-cigarettes; students started vaping to quit smoking, or used E-cigarettes with fruit flavor found to have significantly higher chance of quitting.


The E-cigarettes vaping is more prevalent than conventional cigarette smoking among health sciences students in Jeddah-KSA. E-cigarettes are used as a tool to help smoking cessation in less than half of the user. E-cigarettes help some smokers to quit smoking. However, it seems as addictive to the users as conventional cigarette smoking.


Conventional cigarettes; e-cigarettes; electronic cigarettes; medical students; smoking

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