Factors Affecting Smoking Initiation and Cessation Among Saudi Women Attending Smoking Cessation Clinics

Yumn M. Al-Nimr, Ghada Farhat, Ali Alwadey


Objectives: Smoking is one of the most adaptable risk behaviours associated with increased mortality rates, yet over one billion individuals worldwide are smokers. This study aimed to examine self-reported reasons for starting and quitting smoking among women attending smoking cessation clinics in Saudi Arabia. Methods: This cross-sectional study took place between January 2014 and January 2017 in Saudi Arabia using previously collected data. A survey was distributed to 3,000 female smokers attending smoking cessation programmes in 18 clinics from different regions in Saudi Arabia to determine self-reported reasons for smoking initiation and willingness/unwillingness to quit. Results: A total of 2,190 women participated in the study (response rate = 73%). Overall, the most common reason for starting to smoke was friends (31.1%), while the predominant reason for willingness to quit was health concerns (45.5%). The most frequent reason for being unwilling to quit smoking was a fear of mood changes (28%). Conclusion: Most Saudi women are socially-driven to start smoking, while the most common reason for quitting is health concerns. The latter finding is promising in that it shows that smokers are gaining awareness of the adverse effects of smoking.

Keywords: Tobacco Smoking; Smoking Cessation; Health Risk Behaviors; Lifestyle Risk Reduction; Primary Health Care; Saudi Arabia.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.18295/squmj.2020.20.01.014


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Sultan Qaboos University Medical Journal, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, Sultan Qaboos University, PO Box 35, Postal Code 123, Al-Khod, Muscat, Oman

ISSN (Print edition): 2075-051X ISSN (Internet edition): 2075-0528

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