Tobacco use among population sub-groups: A gender analysis


Women comprise 20% of world’s billion smokers. Especially troubling is raising prevalence of tobacco use among girls. In fact, it is expected that 20% of women in developing/developed countries will be smokers by 2025. This study analytically compares knowledge, attitudes, and practices of tobacco use, by gender, among 4 sub-populations in Alexandria, Egypt. Methods: A cross sectional approach was used for 4 subgroups (high school students, university students, shopping malls/clubs’ attendees, employees of health-related facilities), 1000 each (total sample size = 4000). A modified version of WHO questionnaire was used for data collection. Results: Smoking prevalence was generally higher among males (29%-44%) compared to females (2% - 9%) in the studied groups. Cafeterias were preferable smoking places for both genders, especially among high school/university students. Most smokers in the 4 subgroups reported that most or all their friends were smokers. Mean knowledge scores were found to be higher among male employees/high school students, compared to females in the same sub-groups. Mean attitude scores towards smoking were higher among females (i.e. against smoking) in the 4 sub-samples. Conclusion & Recommendations: Tobacco use among males is generally higher among males, but females seem to be catching up. Social gatherings seem to attract many youngsters, of both genders, to smoke in public, especially waterpipe (which is a growing epidemic of tobacco use in our communities). Mass community- and gender-based health awareness campaigns are needed, using different channels, including school-based health education interventions, at the earliest age possible.

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Mandil, A. , Maqsoud, S. , Tayel, K. and Shama, M. (2012) Tobacco use among population sub-groups: A gender analysis. Open Journal of Preventive Medicine, 2, 468-477. doi: 10.4236/ojpm.2012.24066.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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