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International Journal of Adolescent Medicine and Health

Editor-in-Chief: Merrick, Joav

Editorial Board: Birch, Diana ML / Blum, Robert W. / Greydanus, MD, Dr. HC (Athens), Donald E. / Hardoff, Daniel / Kerr, Mike / Levy, Howard B / Morad, Mohammed / Omar, Hatim A. / de Paul, Joaquin / Rydelius, Per-Anders / Shek, Daniel T.L. / Sher, Leo / Silber, Tomas J. / Towns, Susan / Urkin, Jacob / Verhofstadt-Deneve, Leni / Zeltzer, Lonnie / Tenenbaum, Ariel

CiteScore 2018: 0.79

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Prevalence and determinants of smoking behavior among male school adolescents in Saudi Arabia

Ali Saad R. Alsubaie
  • Corresponding author
  • Department of Public Health, College of Public Health, Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal University, Dammam, Saudi Arabia
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Published Online: 2018-01-25 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ijamh-2017-0180



Smoking and tobacco use is a growing public health problem, with often begins in adolescence. This study aims to estimate the prevalence of smoking behavior and the associated determinants among adolescents.


A cross-sectional study was conducted using a self-administered questionnaire with 453 male adolescent students in Riyadh, the capital of Saudi Arabia. Descriptive and binary logistic regression analyses were performed to aggregate the findings and examine associations.


The prevalence of smoking was 24.3% among adolescents. The main predictors of smoking behavior were found to be age (OR = 1.6; 95% CI: 1.3–2.0; p < 0.001), studying in private schools (OR = 1.4; 95% CI: 1.2–1.5; p < 0.001), having friends who smoke (OR = 13.9; 95% CI: 6.6–29.9; p < 0.001), smoking parent (OR = 18.1; 95% CI: 8.8–37.1; p < 0.001), perceived poor health (OR = 2.9; 95% CI: 1.9–3.9; p = 0.041) and perceived dissatisfaction with life (OR = 4.1; 95% CI: 1.33–13.3; p = 0.017). Smokers were more likely to believe that it is difficult to quit smoking (OR = 3.0; 95% CI: 1.6–5.5; p < 0.001). The top reasons for smoking were having smoker friends (78.2%), family neglect (45.5%), having smoker parents (41.8%), family problems (37.3%), enjoyment, and having smoker relatives.


This study concluded that a considerable proportion of adolescents are smokers. Adolescents with a smoking habit report poorer health and lower life satisfaction than non-smokers. Several personal and social factors were identified as important determinants for smoking.

Keywords: adolescent health; health status; life satisfaction; peer pressure; social determinants; tobacco


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About the article

Received: 2017-10-14

Accepted: 2017-12-03

Published Online: 2018-01-25

Conflict of interest statement: The author declares that there is no conflict of interest.

Citation Information: International Journal of Adolescent Medicine and Health, 20170180, ISSN (Online) 2191-0278, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ijamh-2017-0180.

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