Understanding tobacco use among nondaily and light daily cigarette smokers is needed because they are dissimilar from other smokers and may require specific prevention efforts.
We compared three groups of adult male smokers in rural Egypt: light daily and nondaily smokers versus moderate-to-heavy daily smokers. Data were obtained from a household survey in 2003 in six randomly selected villages in the Nile Delta region of Egypt. There were 7,657 adult participants, of whom 48.6% were male and 51.4% were female. Among them, 1,401 males (37.6%) and 5 females (0.1%) were self-identified as current cigarette smokers; further analysis focused on males. We restricted data analysis to those who reported a stable pattern of 3+ years of smoking. There were 42 nondaily smokers. Daily smokers were subdivided into two groups: light daily smokers (who smoked no more than 10 cigarettes/day; n = 223) and moderate-to-heavy daily smokers (who smoked at least 11 cigarettes/day; n = 769).
We found statistically significant differences between these groups on nearly every measure: nondaily smokers tended to be younger and unmarried, but they also had higher levels of education and professional occupations compared with the other smokers. Nondaily and the light daily smokers were more likely than moderate-to-heavy smokers to be planning to quit and to have self-efficacy for quitting, and they were less likely to be smoking in the presence of their wife and children at home.
Further understanding of nondaily and light daily smokers may aid in tailoring specific interventions.