Author(s): Siddiqui S, Ogbeide DO
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Abstract OBJECTIVE: Smoking is a major health problem among healthcare personnel as in other parts of the community. The objective of this study was to find out the prevalence of smoking along with influencing factors related to smoking among our staff in Alkharj Military Hospital. METHODS: A self-administered questionnaire study. EPI-INFO statistical package was used for statistical analysis by calculating x(2) and p value < or = 0.05 as statistically significant. RESULTS: A total of 230 completed questionnaires, 108 males and 122 females, were included with a response rate of 66\%. The prevalence of smokers was (19\%) ex-smokers (14\%) and non-smokers (67\%). Male smokers 31, (29\%), x(2) =13.42, p< 0.001 were a significantly higher figure than female smokers. Smoking was significantly more among the group of employees with secondary school degrees, 6 (35.5\%), p< 0.02. The majority of smokers were smoking 11-20 cigarettes per day (46.5\%, x(2) = 14.80, p < 0.0001). Friends influenced, 30 (70\%), p < 0.0001, smokers to start smoking, with relaxation being the most important reason 22, (51\%), p< 0.001) for continuing smoking. Seventy six percent of smokers favored the establishment of a smoking cessation clinic. There was no significant difference regarding the knowledge of harmful effects of smoking among smokers, ex-smokers and non-smokers. The majority of smokers (70\%) thought of stopping smoking and 58\% attempted to stop smoking but most of the smokers failed due to social reasons or friends influences (44\%). CONCLUSION: Smoking prevalence is considerably high among our hospital workers. It is not only dangerous for the smokers itself but for the patients who idealize the behavior of hospital staff. Most of the smokers know that smoking is harmful to them as well as others around them but they did not succeed in quitting smoking due to various reasons. Health education combined with help from general practitioners may help to increase the quitting rate among smokers and preventing new smokers from taking up smoking.
This article was published in Saudi Med J
and referenced in Journal of Addiction Research & Therapy