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Smoking is a major health problem all over the world, but little information is available about the prevalence of
smoking in Saudi Arabia. However, the prevalence rate was in the range of 8%-57. This study examines the prevalence, pattern of
smoking, attitudes towards public measures against smoking and teaching the tobacco issues in Pharmacy College. The appraisal
of the role of the pharmacist in smoking cessation were also investigated.
The survey was conducted in February 2004, in college of pharmacy at King Saud University in Riyadh city; students
were randomly selected from different college levels. Anonymous self-questionnaire was used for data collection.
The survey revealed that 1304% of the students were current smokers. Religion and hazards to the health were the main
reasons for non-smoking, whereas, easing stress and relaxation with friends were given as the main reasons for smoking about
74.5% of the students had unsuccessfully attempted quitting smoking, while mixing with smokers, lack of will power and stress
were the main reasons for continuing smoking. In general the students were knowledgeable about risk facing smokers. The
students showed positive attitude towards public measures against smoking, and appraised the role of the pharmacists in smoking
cessation and inclusion of tobacco issues to the curriculum.
Anti-smoking programs are needed for both university students and primary school levels. In addition, teachers
and pharmacists should be role models by not smoking. Legislations are needed to restrict selling of cigarette to the underage and
fine those who violate banning of smoking. Pharmacy college should be encouraged to include teaching tobacco issues in their
Sergi Ferr is principal investigator at the National Institute on Drug Abuse, IRP. He is also guest professor from the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the Faculty of Biology, University of Barcelona and adjunct associate professor from the Department of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and from the Department of Molecular Neuroscience at George Mason University. His main research interest is the understanding of the functional role of receptor heteromers in the brain as well as their potential use as targets for drug development in neuropsychiatric disorders and drug addiction
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