Epidemiology of tobacco use in Qatar: Prevalence and its associated factors
Publication Source


Journal article
Eastern Mediterranean
Economy status
High-income economies

Tobacco use is a serious public health concern as it causes various deleterious health problems. The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of tobacco use and various types of tobacco used among a population-based sample of adults 18 years and above in Qatar (residents and expatriates). The study also attempted to assess tobacco use initiation age, tobacco dependency, and to identify factors associated with current tobacco use. This 2019 cross-sectional study was conducted among governmental employees and University students in Qatar using cluster sampling methodology. Study participants completed a self-administered, country-adapted summarized version of the Global Adult Tobacco Survey. 25.2% (n = 1741; N = 6904) of the surveyed sample reported current tobacco use. 21.5% (n = 1481) smoked tobacco (cigarettes, waterpipe, medwakh and cigar) concomitant with other forms of tobacco and only 1.0% (n = 69) were using other forms of tobacco (electronic cigarettes, smokeless tobacco and heat-not-burn tobacco products) and 2.7% (n = 191) did not mention the type of tobacco products used by them. Of the 1550 tobacco users, 42.8% were cigarette smokers, 20.9% waterpipe, 3.2% medwakh (Arabic traditional pipe) and 0.7% cigar. Moreover, 1.9% reported smokeless tobacco use (sweika), 2.0% electronic cigarette use, and 0.3% heat-not-burn tobacco use. The mean age for smoking initiation was 19.7±5.3 (Qataris 18.6±4.8 and non-Qataris 20.3±5.6). Using multivariable logistic regression, significant association was observed between tobacco use and gender, nationality, age, monthly income, living with a smoker, and self-rated health. This large population-based cross-sectional survey provides the first evidence for the prevalence of different types of tobacco use including medwakh smoking among adults (Qataris and non-Qataris) 18 years and above in Qatar. This can serve as a baseline for future research studies on the topic. Based on the review of previous and current tobacco survey findings, it is evident that the prevalence of tobacco use (current) in Qatar has declined suggesting that tobacco control measures implemented by the country have been effective in reducing tobacco consumption.