Introduction Initiation of smoking behaviour during adolescence is associated with many negatives. In Saudi Arabia, the prevalence of teen smoking is not well understood. 2013 WHO Health Report on Global Tobacco Epidemic indicates the prevalence of current cigarette use among youth as 6% (Boys: 13%, Girls: 5%). This paper presents data from a larger study of adolescents’ health developed for Saudi youth in Riyadh. The purpose of which is to describe the smoking behaviours of adolescent boys and girls aged 14–19.
Methodology A health survey was developed for Saudi youth after extensive literature review. The survey focused on adolescents’ behaviours and attitudes, including questions about smoking and tobacco use. A total of 1430 Adolescents from 12 schools participated in the study. 54.8% were male. Univariate descriptive statistics were examined. data was analysed by chi-square tests using SPSS Statistics (Version 21) software; p-values < 0.05 were considered statistically significant.
Results 20% reported having ever smoked a whole cigarette. Among the smokers half smoked their first cigarette at 13 years. Students who reported ever smoking had a significantly lower mean school connectedness score compared to students who never smoked (t = 3.03, p = 0.003). (SD)=2.77(.67) vs. Never smoked=2.9(62), t. 50% of students had smokers in the family
Conclusion The most important implication of this study is finding ways to improve the school connectedness which will inversely affect the prevalence of smoking among adolescents. Policy makers have to consider this seriously Detailed surveying of smoking behaviours at regular intervals is likely to provide a more thorough perspective.