Smoking uptake among Saudi adolescents: tobacco epidemic indicators and preventive actions needed

M. Mohammed*, S.M. Eggers, F.F. Alotaiby, N. de Vries, H. de Vries

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The aim of this cross-sectional school-based study was to assess smoking prevalence, indicators for the smoking epidemic and determinants of smoking among Saudi adolescents. The study included 695 male adolescents from 11 to 16 years of age who filled out self-report questionnaires based on the European Smoking Framework Approach questionnaire, which uses the I-Change model to assess attitude, social influence and the self-efficacy of the participants. Smokers were 275 (39.6%) adolescents. Smokers tended to receive more daily pocket money, live in more affluent families and show lower academic performance. Non-smokers were inclined to believe that smoking may help people to feel relaxed and confident, encountered less social influences to smoke than smokers, but reported low self-efficacy not to smoke when with smoker friends and when offered a cigarette. Smokers reported the lowest self-efficacy not to smoke in all situations assessed. The results suggest the smoking epidemic among male Saudi adolescents may still be in the early stages, providing ample opportunity for preventive actions aimed at halting the further progress of this epidemic. Secondly, smoking prevention programs in Saudi Arabia need to reinforce non-smoking attitudes, address how to resist pressure to smoke, and how to develop high self-efficacy towards non-smoking in various situations.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6-15
Number of pages10
JournalGlobal Health Promotion
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2018


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