Few studies have been published on the prevalence of smoking among healthcare workers and smoking triggers. This study sought to determine smoking prevalence and identify factors associated with the initiation of smoking.
The pre-designed questionnaire in this cross-sectional study on healthcare workers at Prince Mohammed bin Abdulaziz Hospital in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia included items on demographics, smoking habits and smoking history, factors associated with smoking, and beliefs about smoking.
The study sample comprised 343 healthcare workers, of whom 117 (34.1%) were current and past smokers. The most common reason for smoking was stress relief (n = 78, 22.7%). In the 12 months before the survey, 48 respondents (14.0%) tried to quit smoking. Ninety-two (26.8%) stated that their workplace forbids smoking; however, 95 (27.7%) would smoke in the gardens and 59 (17.2%), in smoking-designated areas. Around half of the respondents (n = 161, 46.9%) said their co-workers also smoke. Smoking was significantly correlated with male gender, tight work schedules, obesity, high monthly income, and co-workers who also smoked.
More than One-third of our surveyed healthcare professionals smoke. Tendency to smoke is higher among workers who have tight work schedules and co-workers who also smoke. Smoking policies and strict no smoking rules are failing to deter individuals from smoking.