Background: In Saudi Arabia, cardiovascular diseases are among the top causes of death and disability, and smoking is one of the leading risk factors, particularly among males.
Objective: Our study aims to evaluate the compliance with the anti-smoking law among cigarette retailers and examine the visibility of cigarette retailers around educational facilities in Riyadh city, Saudi Arabia.
Methods: We conducted a mapping survey and geospatial analysis of cigarette retailers around educational facilities from February to March 2020 (before the COVID-19 restriction) in Al-Olaya municipality in Riyadh city as a pilot study. We found 249 retailers, of which 152 sold cigarettes. Data analyses in ArcMap 10.6 compared the visibility within 250 and 500 meters from educational facilities.
Results: We found many retailers were not compliant with the tobacco control regulation: 57.1% of minimarkets sell cigarettes, 15.8% of cigarette retailers display the products openly, and 12.5% of cigarette retailers sold cigarettes by the stick. Moreover, 71% of the total cigarette retailers were within 500 m from schools, and 62% of all schools had at least one cigarette retailer within 500 m buffer (5-min walking or 2-3-min driving distance).
Conclusion: There is non-compliance with the anti-smoking law among cigarette retailers and high visibility of cigarette retailers around educational facilities in Saudi Arabia. Monitoring is needed for the effective implementation of tobacco control policies.
Keywords: Saudi Arabia (KSA); cigarette addiction; retailers; schools; tobacco control.
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