Factors associated with the initiation of smoking by Kuwaiti males

J Subst Abuse. 1998;10(4):375-84. doi: 10.1016/s0899-3289(99)00012-7.


Purpose: To estimate the age patterns in cumulative probability of smoking initiation among Kuwaiti adult males and to study the differentials in smoking initiation in relation to factors such as age-cohort, marital status, educational level, income, type of residence, and history of smoking among family members and friends.

Methods: A stratified three stage cluster sampling design was implemented for the selection of the sample. A self-administered questionnaire was completed by 1798 Kuwaiti adult males working in different ministries.

Results and implications: Of the 1798 respondents, 34.4% were classified as current smokers, 17.7% as former smokers and 47.9% as non-smokers. The highest probability of smoking initiation (among current and former smokers) was found for the age group 15-20 years, where almost 29% of the respondents initiated smoking. In the univariate analysis, marital status, education, income, type of residence, and history of smoking among family members and friends showed significant variation in the age-patterns of initiation. In the Cox proportional hazard regression model, education, type of residence, and history of smoking among family members and friends were found to be independently associated with the risk of initiation. The highest risk of initiation (Relative Risk (RR) = 1.85; 95% CI: 1.62-2.10) was found among those who had a history of smoking in family and friends. Individuals in the lowest education category (RR = 1.64; 95% CI: 1.32-2.04) and those residing in apartments (RR = 1.65; 95% CI: 1.43-1.92) were at a higher risk of initiation compared with those who had university education or those who resided in villas. The results of the study should prompt further efforts to develop tobacco control policies in Kuwait and the other Arabian Gulf countries to help establish norms for not initiating smoking through persistent messages to not start or to stop smoking. There is also a need to enhance awareness about the influence of smokers in family or friends on other people to initiate smoking.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Child
  • Cross-Cultural Comparison*
  • Ethnic Groups / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Kuwait
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Smoking / ethnology*
  • Smoking / psychology
  • Social Facilitation