What are the factors influencing youth smoking in the UK and Saudi Arabia ?
Madkhali, Zohur-Hadi A
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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Background and objectives Smoking among the young people is an issue of public health concern in the globe. It is during the early adolescence that most people that eventually become regular smokers begin using tobacco products. Although several government policies have been put into place to control smoking among young people, smoking prevalence rate in this group remains high. However, the factors that motivate young people to use tobacco products are not well researched. This research paper reviews several qualitative studies investigating the factors influencing young people to smoke in Saudi Arabia and the United Kingdom. Methodology Systematic review approaches were applied in the identification and appraisal of the qualitative studies that focused on young people smoking behaviours in Saudi Arabia and United Kingdom. The data collected was synthesised using meta-ethnographic methods to deduce the relevant themes for the study. Results The study found the main motivations of smoking among the young people in both countries to be boredom, seeking acceptance from the peer groups and for entertainment. The factors that were found to play an influential role in promoting smoking among the young people in Saudi Arabia and United Kingdom included social relationships, environmental factors, government policies and gender. Young people from poor economic backgrounds were found to have a higher likelihood of smoking than those from affluent background. In addition, the smoking prevalence rates among males were higher than females in both countries. Discussion The findings from the research study demonstrate the need to focus on social relationships, environmental factors and socio- economic aspects that encourage young people to smoke. In particular, promoting education, creation of job opportunities for young persons and educating them about the dangers of smoking from early stages plays a critical role in enhancing their self-efficacy and self-confidence. This empowers them to resist peer pressure and external influences to adopt smoking habit.
BSc (Hons) Health and Social Care
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