Smoking in USA and Smoking in Saudi Arabia





Smoking in USA and Smoking in Saudi Arabia

            Of all the issues affecting the modern society, the question of banning smoking in public places has been one of the most hotly debated and discussed subject. The subject has become controversial in recent years because of the health risks associated with smoking. Most governments discourage smoking in public places in that cigarette contain toxic chemicals, which are harmful to the body and can affect both the user and those nearby. In the 21st century, many countries prohibit smoking in public to protect the well-being of people. For instance, the American government has enacted laws that discourage people to smoke in public places such as hospitals, schools, restaurants, and work environment. The global aspect of smoking occurrence is well documented. For instance, Audrain, Janet, and Jon (1743) provide a general findings on how smoking is a major problem affecting the modern society. This research provides a detailed account of the increase in the number of smokers from 19th to 21st century. With its severity in mind, many nations across the globe have implemented laws that ban smoking in public places. This research seeks to compare and contrast smoking in the USA and smoking in Saudi Arabia.

Smoking in Saudi Arabia

            In his article, Alturki (72) affirm that smoking level in developing countries  is quite alarming. While the developed countries such as Canada, Germany, United Kingdom, and the United States have enjoyed the benefits of, decreasing rate of smoking for the past four decades, developing countries such as Saudi Arabia still report rapid smoking rate. Tobacco smoking has been the main cause of death in developing countries with the number of addicts increasing rapidly. Based on a recent study conducted in 2007, Al-Haqwi All, Hani, and Asery (146) argue that, 11% of female and 34% of male secondary students were smoking in their teenagehood. Likewise, Saudi Arabia estimates that 30% of adult men smoke while 10% of adult women smokes. This indicates a major difference between smoking habits in Saudi Arabia and other settings such as the United States where the number of female smoking is considerably higher than Saudi Arabia.

             Obaidullah and David (4) also noted that, the highest rate of smoking is among the young generation between the age 21 to 45 years. Additionally, tobacco smoking is more common among married couple, uneducated, and those in certain occupations such as army officers, businessmen, and manual workers just to name a few. Since 1960, there has been a tremendous increase in the quantity of tobacco import, thus creating plenty of tobacco supply. Although the government has emphasizes on creating awareness to the public on the health effects of smoking, the prevalence of tobacco smoking has been extremely high. By comparing the health warning in other cigarette packs sold in the U.S, it is evident that there is substantial scope to improve on the health warning on cigarette packets.

            While other nations educates the public on the danger of taking tobacco, Saudi Arabia has placed little emphasizes on the warning of cigarette smoking. According to Alturki (73), the warning approximates to 15% of the pack written in small font that can be hardly read by the public. The back side of the cigarette packs do not have health warnings as compared to those sold in the United States. The brand emphasizes much on the company advertisement, but warnings are not emphasized at all. With this, Alturkin continues to argue that, although the public understands the danger of cigarette smoking, there is a strong need for the government to develop interventions to control the smoking habits in Saudi Arabia. In Saudi Arabia, the introduction of antismoking campaign and health promotion campaigns are minimizing the negative effects of smoking in the society. The government of Saudi Arabia has recognized the threat posed by smoking for future generation. With this in mind, the government is diligently working hard to minimize the damage caused by cigarette smoking.

Smoking in the United States

            Although the number of cigarette smokers has decreased in the past years, studies indicate that smoking has been the principal cause of most deaths in the United States (Bradford et al 1560). Cigarette smoking causes preventable death, accounting to 445, 000 deaths each year. It is a matter of concern that  there are more deaths caused by tobacco than those caused by HIV, alcohol use, illegal drug use, suicides, and accidents.  Smoking has been linked to various health effects such as heart diseases and cancer. According to Rodu and Philip (782), smoking accounts for 88% of lung cancer deaths, and 31% of cardiovascular diseases. Although the American government has made significant progress in decreasing smoking rates, many people persist to smoke.

            Over 30% of the adult population in the United States smoke, and men represent the largest population. Although men represent the largest population of cigarette smokers both in the United States and Saudi Arabia, the  number of women smoking in the United States is higher than that of Saudi Arabia. While the number of older adults over 65 years is lower than the young generation, those who may have smoked for a long period tend to be addicts. In essence, the rate of smoking is highest among young adults between the age 20-40 years (Bradford et al 1561). This research indicates that, the rate of smoking is also high among different races in the United States such as American Indians and black Americans. Asians and Hispanics have the lowest rate of cigarette smokers.

            Like other developing countries, the highest rate of cigarette smokers in USA is high among those living in poverty lane. Unemployment and psychological factors such as low self-esteem and other behavioural problem increases the risk of smoking. Specifically, people with mental problems are more likely to smoke that those without the disorder. For instance, schizophrenia and depression are the most risk factors associated with cigarette smoking.

            Despite the fact that smoking is the leading cause of most deaths in the United States, the government has diligently worked hard in creating awareness to the public about the dangers of cigarette smoking. The government has ensured that those buying the cigarettes understand the dangers of smoking. To enhance this effect, there have been messages placed on cigarette packs on the dangers of cigarette smoking and how one can be saved from the addiction. This has created awareness to the public about the negative health effects of smoking, and to some extent discouraged many people from smoking. Additionally, the American government has enacted policies that prohibit smoking in public.


            From this analysis, the following are the differences between smoking in the USA and Smoking in Saudi Arabia. First, while there has been a decrease rate of smoking in the USA, the rate has increased in Saudi Arabia. Secondly, the number of women smoking is higher in the USA than it is in Saudi Arabia. Thirdly, by comparing the health warning of cigarette packs sold in the U.S and those sold in Saudi Arabia, it is evident that the latter needs to improve on its health warning campaigns. Despite the mentioned differences, the following are the notable similarities between smoking in the USA and smoking in Saudi Arabia. First, smoking is the leading cause of death in both countries. Secondly, men represent the highest number of smokers in both countries. Thirdly, smoking has been associated with health problems such as lung cancer and heart diseases in both countries. Fourthly, both countries have enacted policies that prohibit smoking in public. Lastly, both countries have established the need to create awareness to the public on the negative effects of smoking. Thus far, this research outline how smoking is a problem affecting most nations. With this in mind, the good news is that stopping smoking may cause a big difference in health. This may prevent smoking related illness such as stroke, cancer, and heart diseases. Still, it may prevent death cases that occur due to smoking. This leaflet creates insights about smoking in the United States and Saudi Arabia. From the analysis, one can conclude that smoking is a major problem affecting both countries, and this creates the need for the governments to work harder to increase life expectancy. It is also important to discourage smoking in public places in that cigarette contain toxic chemicals, which are harmful to the body and can affect both the user and those nearby.


Works Cited

Al-Haqwi All, Tamim, Hani, and Asery All. “Knowledge, Attitude And Practice Of Tobacco Smoking By Medical Students In Riyadh, Saudi Arabia”. Annals of Thoraic Medicine 5. 3 (2010):145-147.

 Alturki, Khaled. “The Effectiveness of the Smoking Cessation Programme in Saudi Arabia: An Assessment of the Views of Smokers and Health Care Professionals in the Riyadh Region”. The International Journa of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences 6. 1 (2011):72-78.

Audrain-McGovern, Janet, Daniel Rodriguez, and Jon D. Kassel. “Adolescent Smoking And Depression: Evidence For Self-Medication And Peer Smoking Mediation.” Addiction 104.10 (2009): 1743-1756.

Bradford W Hesse, et al. “Smoking Knowledge And Behavior In The United States: Sociodemographic, Smoking Status, And Geographic Patterns.” Nicotine & Tobacco Research: Official Journal Of The Society For Research On Nicotine And Tobacco 10.10 (2008): 1559-1570.

Obaidullah,Al-Lehiany and David Stanley. “Smoking Cessation Program Targeting Adolescents: Saudi Arabia”. Journal of Smoking Cessation 4.1 (2009): 3-9.

Rodu, Brad, and Philip Cole. “Declining Mortality From Smoking In The United States.” Nicotine & Tobacco Research 9.7 (2007): 781-784.

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