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Staff and student experiences and attitudes towards smoking and smoking cessation, University of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

Tobaiqy, Mansour; Thomas, Dennis; MacLure, Andrew; Stewart, Derek; MacLure, Katie


Mansour Tobaiqy

Dennis Thomas

Andrew MacLure

Derek Stewart

Katie MacLure


Introduction: Tobacco smoking causes an estimated 7 million deaths per annum with 70 thousand of those occurring in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) where the National Transformation Program highlights the need to prioritize smoking cessation. The objective of this study was to determine the experiences and attitudes of university staff and students, who have been or are currently smokers, towards smoking and smoking cessation. Methods: A link to a cross-sectional online survey was distributed by email in October and November 2020 to students and staff (n=34872) at the University of Jeddah, KSA. The survey was based on WHO GATS, CSS-21 and a systematic review. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics in JASP (version 0.14.1) [Computer software]. Results: A total of 666 responses were collected. Most respondents had never smoked (n=556; 83.5%) with some current smokers (n=72; 10.8%) and few former smokers (n=12; 1.8%). Major challenges of quitting smoking identified by the CSS-21 tool were intrinsic factors such as 'withdrawal symptoms' (n=28; 37.8%), 'being addicted to cigarettes' (n=24; 34.8%), 'having strong emotions or feelings' (n=28; 38.4%), and 'seeing things or people which reminded me' (n=25; 34.2%). The extrinsic factors were mostly reported as 'not a challenge', such as 'use of other substances like cannabis, alcohol, etc.' (n=60; 87.0%) or 'lack of support or encouragement from health professionals to stop smoking' (n=50; 69.4%). Many staff and students were 'asked if you smoked tobacco products' at a healthcare professional appointment with (n=5; 83.3%) and (n=27; 71.1%), respectively. Both staff (n=6; 75.0%) and students (n=19; 34.5%) thought 'face-to-face counselling' would help support their future attempts to quit. Conclusions: The majority of smokers who participated saw intrinsic factors more of a challenge than extrinsic factors. This new knowledge has the potential to influence decision makers. There is potential for encouraging healthcare practitioners to promote smoking cessation conversations.


TOBAIQY, M., THOMAS, D., MACLURE, A., STEWART, D. and MACLURE, K. 2022. Staff and student experiences and attitudes towards smoking and smoking cessation, University of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Tobacco prevention and cessation [online], 7(December), article 73. Available from:

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Nov 23, 2021
Online Publication Date Dec 17, 2021
Publication Date Dec 31, 2021
Deposit Date Apr 26, 2022
Publicly Available Date Apr 26, 2022
Journal Tobacco Prevention and Cessation
Print ISSN 2459-3087
Publisher EU European Publishing
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 7
Issue December
Article Number 73
Keywords Smoking cessation; Smoking; University students; University staff; Quit smoking; Saudi Arabia
Public URL


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