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Predictors of Cigarette Smoking across Five Countries: A Cross Sectional Study

Susan Abughosh, Ekere James Essien, Feras Hawari, Ronald J Peters, Xin Wang, Yasser Almogbel, Mo Yang, Prajakta Bhounsule, Sujit Sansgiry, I-Hsuan Wu.

Background: Tobacco use continues to be the leading cause of death and disability in both developed and developing countries and is expected to remain so in 2020. Our research team has collected and analyzed survey based data on smoking habits from several countries around the world including China, India, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and Taiwan. Our objectives here are to identify correlates of cigarette smoking that are common across these countries.
Methods: A cross-sectional study conducted among 3,658 participants from a convenience sample of adults from each country collected between 2008-2011. The survey included questions on socio-demographic characteristics, current and history of cigarette smoking, family and peer smoking, and perceived harm. Multivariate logistic regression was used to determine predictors of cigarette smoking in the past 24 hours as well as in the past month.
Results: Approximately 40% of the sample had smoked a cigarette in the past day and 44% in the past month. Significant predictors included male gender, aged 25 years or more, lower education level and school performance, medical profession, dyspepsia, feeling lonely and bothered by events, using other tobacco products, alcohol use and family and friend smoking. Those who received anti-smoking messages from teachers in schools were less likely to be smokers.
Conclusions: Results underscore the importance of teachers and school based anti-smoking programs in smoking prevention across cultures and highlights the prominence of social peer pressure and smoking family members as major predictors of smoking that must be incorporated in any tobacco prevention or cessation program.

Key words: Smoking, tobacco use, five nations, convenience sample, predictors

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