In Saudi Arabia, no studies have been conducted on the correlation between any possible cigarette's price increase and its effects on cigarette consumption.
The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of cigarette smoking in Saudi Arabia and to predict the effect of price increase on cigarette consumption.
SETTINGS AND DESIGN:
A cross-sectional study was conducted in April and May 2013.
We developed an Arabic questionnaire with information on demographic and socioeconomic factors, smoking history, and personal opinion on the effect of price increase on cigarette consumption. The questionnaire was distributed in public places such as malls and posted on famous Saudi athlete media's twitter accounts.
Among the 2057 included responses, 802 (39%) were current smokers. The smokers’ population constituted of 746 (92%) males, of which 546 (68%) had a monthly income equal or greater to 800 US dollars, and 446 (55%) were aged between 21 and 30 years. Multivariate analyses of the risk factors for smoking showed that male gender and older age were associated with greater risk. Despite the current low prices of 2.67 US dollars, 454 smokers (56%) thought that cigarette prices are expensive. When asked about the price of cigarettes that will lead to smoking cessation, 443 smokers (55%) expected that a price of 8.27 US dollars and more per pack will make them quit.
Increasing the price of popular cigarettes pack from 2.67 US dollars to 8.27 US dollars is expected to lead to smoking cessation in a large number of smokers in the Saudi population.