ASSESSMENT OF SMOKING BEHAVIOR AMONG MALAY MALE SMOKERS IN KELANTAN, MALAYSIA
Objective: The aim of this study was to assess smoking behavior among Malay male smokers in Kelantan, Malaysia.
Methods: Volunteers (n=496) were recruited in the study by randomly selected manner. The participants were categorized as smokers (n=248) and non-smoking controls (n=248). All participants were given data collection sheets to record their information. The participants who were selected in smokers group (n=248) were given a form containing questionnaires regarding their smoking behavior. The participants were asked about their smoking history such as smoking initiation age, factors that influence smoking behavior, number of cigarettes daily, number of quitting attempts, and methods of quitting attempts. The validated Malay version of Fagerstrom test for nicotine dependence (FTND-M) was used to measure physical dependence on nicotine among smokers.
Results: The study revealed that smokers in this study group were mainly light smokers. More than half of the participants, i.e., 51.6% (n=128), in this study had an FTND-M score lower than 2 (very low nicotine dependence). The minimum smoking initiation age of the participants in this study was 10 years whereas the maximum age was 40 years. Most of the participants start smoking at the age of <20 years with the higher frequency being
18 years. More than half of the participants (58.5%) claimed that peer influence is the main factor initiating their smoking behavior. From the study, about 50.4% (n=125) of participants used <10 sticks of cigarettes per day, 39.1% (n=97) used 11-20 sticks, 9.39% (n=23) used 21-30 sticks, while
1.2% of the participants used more than 31 sticks of cigarettes per day. Our data indicate that only 10.9% (n=27) of participants had tried more than
5 times to quit smoking. Even though new effective treatments are now available, almost half of the participants, i.e., 51.6% (n=128), had tried to quit smoking without any intervention.
Conclusion: Data obtained from this study later may help the public health policy makers and practitioners, especially in Kelantan, Malaysia, to make smoking prevention strategies more effective.
Keywords: Smoking behavior, Male smoker, Malay male and smoking assessment.
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