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Tobacco smoking among students of Al-Ghad College for Applied Medical Sciences for Male in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Haytham Mahmoud Hassan, Samy Shaban Mahmoud, Mansour Khalil Katasha, Lotfy Fahmy Isaa, Alaa Abdel-Wahed, Saad Kandil, Gamal Abu sheisha, Mohammed T. Al-Sibai.

Background: Adolescence and young adulthood are the times when people are most susceptible to starting tobacco use. Young people are more vulnerable and more influenced by marketing than adults. They are also more willing to take risks, even with their health. Cigarette smoking by youth and young adults has immediate adverse health consequences, including addiction, and accelerates the development of chronic diseases across the full life course.

Aims & Objectives: This study was conducted to determine the prevalence and risk factors affecting tobacco use among students of Al-Ghad International College for Applied Medical Science, (Male-Riyadh) in Saudi Arabia.

Materials and Methods: Cross sectional approach was used in this study, where a sample size of 156 students was selected. By using questionnaire, the data were collected concerning main outcome variable i.e. the smoking status of students (smoker or non-smoker) and the predictor variables (risk factors) including socio-demographic characters of students (age, parentís education), parents and friends smoking status, smoking perception and alcohol and illicit drug use.

Results: The prevalence of current tobacco user students was 42.3%, previous or tried smoking in the past was 17.9% while 39.7% of students had never smoked. Of the current smokers, 34.8% were cigarette smokers, 21.2% were shisha smokers and 40.9% were both cigarette and shisha smokers. Smoking status was associated with age (OR=1.38; 95% CI=1.14-1.68), mothers educated up to middle school, friends smoking, attractive smoking perception, alcohol intake (OR=12.28, 95% CI: 4.01- 37.39) and illicit drug abuse (OR=16.57, CI: 4.72- 58.16).

Conclusion: Smoking prevalence was the highest among all studies conducted in Saudi Arabia. More studies in other private colleges are needed to identify if this high prevalence is specific for Al-Ghad College or itís a common characteristic for all private colleges.

Key words: Al-Ghad; Student; Smoking; Saudi Arabia; Tobacco

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