Knowledge of and attitudes towards tobacco control among smoking and non-smoking physicians in 2 Gulf Arab states

Saudi Med J. 2004 May;25(5):585-91.


Objective: The global health professional survey is a project organized by the World Health Organization, to determine the smoking habits, knowledge and attitude towards tobacco control of health professionals in several countries around the world. This paper presents data from Kuwait and Bahrain.

Methods: The survey period was between May 2000 and March 2001. A questionnaire was distributed to all physicians in Bahrain and to a random sample from Kuwait. The responses to knowledge and attitude questions were on a scale of 1-5, (1 strongly agree, 2 agree, 3 unsure, 4 disagree and 5 strongly disagree).

Results: Four hundred and seventy physicians from Bahrain and 1095 from Kuwait completed the questionnaire. The prevalence of cigarette smoking in Kuwait was: current smokers 18.4%, previous smokers 15.8%, Bahrain 14.6% and 14.3%. The prevalence of shisha smoking was 12% and 6.4% for Kuwait and Bahrain, (p=0.004). The mean scores of agreement with the association between passive smoking and lung diseases, lower respiratory tract infections in children were 1.6, 1.7 and 1.8, 1.9 for non smoking physicians and smoking physicians (P<0.01). The mean scores of agreement with the following policies: large health warning on cigarette packages, complete ban on tobacco advertisement and an increase in the price of cigarette were 1.3, 1.4, 1.7 and 1.7, 1.7, 2.5 for smoking and non-smoking physicians (p<0.01).

Conclusion: Smoking physicians have less knowledge and less favorable attitude towards tobacco control compared to non-smokers. There was no difference in the prevalence of cigarette smoking between Kuwait and Bahrain, but the prevalence of shisha smoking was higher in Kuwait.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Attitude of Health Personnel*
  • Bahrain / epidemiology
  • Cross-Cultural Comparison
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Kuwait / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Physicians / psychology
  • Physicians / statistics & numerical data*
  • Sampling Studies
  • Smoking / adverse effects
  • Smoking / epidemiology*
  • Smoking Cessation* / psychology
  • Smoking Prevention