Practice and attitude differences in physician cigarette use: A study of prevalence, physicians' role, and smoking policy awareness in Dubai, UAE
The use of tobacco products ruins the health of millions of people around the world. On average, tobacco users die nearly seven years earlier than non-tobacco users. n1 Cigarette smoking is a particular concern in the developing countries of the Middle East and Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region where smoking prevalence is expected to increase. This is due to the tobacco industry's vigorous commercial and marketing activities. n3 Smoking prevalence among physicians is considered to be an effective indicator of a society's readiness to identify the smoking epidemic and its related health diseases. n4 There is a lack of detailed data on the smoking prevalence among healthcare professionals, particularly physicians, in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). This cross sectional study is the first to address smoking practices among physicians working at the Department of Health and Medical Services (DOHMS); in Dubai, UAE. This study describes the cigarette smoking prevalence among DOHMS Physicians, physician attitudes towards tobacco use and tobacco bans; physician attitudes towards smoking cessation techniques (among smokers and non-smokers); and physician awareness of official anti-smoking policies. Data for the study was collected through the use of an adapted WHO standardized questionnaire, the Global Health Professionals Survey. The questionnaire was administered by the researcher to physicians (n=288) at their work place. Date was analyzed using the SPSS analytic software program. Twelve percent of DOHMS physicians smoked cigarettes. Regardless of smoking status, the majority supported a tobacco ban in hospitals and public places, and a ban on tobacco advertising. There is a significant relationship between physician smoking status and discussing risks of tobacco use (p < 0.05). Non-smoking physicians reported spending more time with patients discussing hazards of smoking (p < 0.01). Non-smokers reported providing more counseling than their smoking colleagues. The majority of DOHMS physicians (63%) reported a lack of knowledge about 5As/ 5Rs. The majority of physicians also reported they are aware of hospital smoking policies that restrict smoking. Regardless of physician smoking status, DOHMS physicians are not very actively involved in smoking cessation activities. This cross sectional study is the first to address smoking programs, policies, and practices among physicians in Dubai, UAE. Findings support the need for increased physical smoking cessation training as well as the development of smoking cessation programs for tobacco control, and programs with a focus on physician participation in reducing tobacco and cigarette use among the general population.
Al-Amari, Eman, "Practice and attitude differences in physician cigarette use: A study of prevalence, physicians' role, and smoking policy awareness in Dubai, UAE" (2011). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI3468469.