Compliance With Tobacco Control Policy and Visibility of Cigarette Retailers Around Educational Facilities in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Front Public Health. 2022 May 30;10:713460. doi: 10.3389/fpubh.2022.713460. eCollection 2022.

Abstract

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.

MeSH terms

  • COVID-19*
  • Pilot Projects
  • Public Policy
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Tobacco
  • Tobacco Products*