Cigarettes and Water Pipe Smoking Among Physicians in the West Bank

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Ayah Hassouna
Doa’a Shtaiwi
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Background:Tobacco use, is one of the biggest public health threats the world has ever faced.Health professionals especially medical physicians are a group of people who help in identifying, preventing, or treating illness based on their professional knowledge and skills. Therefore, in terms of tobacco control, one of the alternative ways to prevent and reduce smoking prevalence among the community is to influence attitudes and practice of health professionals positively, and to increase the awareness of their professional responsibility. Objectives:This study aimed toassess smoking status among medical physicians in West Bank. Material and methods:This cross-sectional study will be carried out using a modified questionnaire of the World Health Organization Global Health Professional Survey. A sample size of 400 physician selected by a non-probability sampling method from a total of 6500 Medical Association registered physicians in the West Bank. Results:In total 502 out of600 physicians were recruited into the study and completed the questionnaire, nearly 80.1% of the participants were males. The age of the respondents ranged from 23 to 78years with a mean of 34.92 years of age. Of the surveyed 502 physicians, 60.3% were current smokers. With (39.4%) as a prevalence for current cigarettes smoking and the same percentage (39.4%) for current water pipe smoking. (20.9% for cigarettes smoking alone, 20.9% for water pipe alone and 18.5% for cigarettes and water pipe together ). Almost all medical doctors have a high level of knowledge on the health consequences of smoking and hold favorable attitudes toward anti-smoking, with non-smokers having more positive attitudes toward anti-smoking than smokers and lesser support for tobacco control than nonsmokers. Conclusion:The results suggested that the degree of awareness of physicians about their role in helping patients to quit smoking cessation is high. However, their knowledge about smoking and smoking cessation techniques needs to be improved. Our physicians need assistances and incentives to increase their involvement in smoking cessation.