Comparison of Smoking and Khat Chewing Habits between Medical and Non-Medical Female Students at UST, Sana'a, Yemen

Mohammed Abdullah Kubas, Majed Wadi


Background: Smoking is a worldwide problem that kills millions of people. Women smoke much lower than males but the numbers of smoker women are growing up. The objectives of this study were to assess the prevalence of smoking and khat chewing in medical and non-medical female students at University of Science and Technology (UST), Sana'a, Yemen.

Methods: We used self-administrated questionnaire to collect cross-sectional data from a randomly selected sample of medical and non-medical female students of UST in 2012-2013. Overall, 480 students completed and returned the questionnaire, of them medical students represented 50% of them.

Results: The prevalence of smoking was significantly low among female medical students (P=0.045), however, not significantly difference was found between medical and non-medical female students in khat chewing habits (P=0.083). Non-smoker medical female students who tried smoking (45.6%) were significantly lower than non-medical students (54.4%), and curiosity was the main reason for trying smoking. Water pipe was the most common type of smoking among smoker students (78.6%). Out of 26 female students who smoke and chew khat, 18 students reported that they smoke more while they chew khat.

Conclusion: Our study highlights the need for increased health education, awareness, and knowledge of the risks of smoking and particularly khat chewing to reduce these habits among female university students especially in non-medical female students.


Smoking; Catha edulis; Female; Students; Yemen

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