Background: This study assesses self-reported tobacco use prevalence (cigarette, water-pipe, and medwakh) among applicants to Abu Dhabi's Premarital Screening program during 2011.
Methods: Premarital Screening data reported to the Health Authority - Abu Dhabi from April to December 2011 were utilized to estimate tobacco use prevalence among applicants. Smoking prevalence was examined by nationality, age group and gender.
Results: Overall, 24.7% of Premarital Screening Program applicants were current smokers; 11.5% smoked cigarettes, 5.9% smoked medwakh (hand-held pipe), 4.8% smoked water-pipe and 2.5% smoked a combination (more than one type). Men (19.2%) were more likely than women (3.5%) to be current cigarette smokers. Women were much less likely to smoke medwakh (0.1%) than men (11.5%), with male UAE Nationals having the highest medwakh smoking prevalence (16.1%). The overall prevalence of water-pipe smoking was 6.8% among men and 2.8% for women with the highest water-pipe smoking prevalence (10.2%) among Arab expatriate men.
Conclusions: Variations in tobacco use prevalence among Premarital Screening Program applicants reflect preferences for different modes of tobacco consumption by nationality, age group and gender. Enforcement of tobacco control laws, including implementation of clean indoor air laws and tobacco tax increases, and targeted health education programs are required to reduce tobacco consumption and concomitant tobacco-related morbidity and mortality.
Keywords: Cigarette; medwakh; smoking; water-pipe.