|IJMDC. 2022; 6(7): 931-941
Public awareness about the smoking cessation program by the Ministry of Health: a cross-sectional study in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Zuhoor M. Alsomali, Ola Al Saati, Areej Alqahtani, Elyas Alsoomali, Ahmed I. Andijani.
Background: Each year, tobacco kills more than 8 million people. More than 7 million of these deaths are due to direct tobacco use, while 1.2 million are caused by non-smokers exposed to secondhand smoke. The Ministry of Health (MOH) has increased its efforts toward combating tobacco consumption in Saudi Arabia. This study objective is to measure the publics’ knowledge in Saudi Arabia about the various smoking cessation resources and services offered by the MOH.
Methods: A link to a cross-sectional online survey was distributed to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, residents on social media platforms in January 2022 (n = 415). Survey questions were adapted from the Global Tobacco Surveillance System. The data were analyzed using Statistical Packages for the Social Sciences software (v22.0).
Results: A total of (n = 319) responses were analyzed. Current tobacco smokers represented 60% of them. The smokers were composed of 75% of males and 25% of females who consumed tobacco. Despite a large number of the respondent being smokers, there were inadequate levels of knowledge about the various smoking cessation services offered by the MOH (40.9% of the respondents acknowledged the services provided, and 53.5% were neutral regarding these services).
Conclusion: Despite the MOH’s efforts to provide numerous smoking cessation services, there remains a lack of knowledge amongst the population of Riyadh. This can slow the MOH efforts toward decreasing smoking rates amongst the population in Saudi Arabia; more efforts are needed to raise awareness of these services in Saudi Arabia.
Key words: Smoking cessation, Awareness, Saudi Arabia