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Epidemiology of cigarette smoking in Pakistan

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Aims. To study the prevalence of smoking among Pakistani population with particular reference to regional differences and correlates of cigarette smoking.

Design. Cross-sectional survey based on representative national sample.

Setting. Data collected through National Health Survey of Pakistan 1990-94.

Participants. 13 104 individuals (6337 males and 6767 females), aged ≥ 8 years.

Outcome measures. Prevalence and correlates of smoking.

Findings. Based on weighted estimates, the overall prevalence of cigarette smoking was 14.2% (95% CI: 13.6-14.8) in individuals aged ≥ 8 years and 19.4% (95% CI: 19.08-19.72) among those aged ≥ 15 years. The highest prevalence was seen in the province of Sindh (16.1%) and the lowest in North Western Frontier Province (7.1%). Nearly a quarter of males (25.4%) were smokers while only 3.5% of females smoked (p < 0.001). The smoking was slightly more prevalent in urban areas (15.2%) compared to rural areas (13.7%). This pattern was consistent in all provinces except the province of Sindh. The highest prevalence of cigarettes smoking among males (48.6%) was seen in those aged 25-44 years. After this age, there was a decline in smoking among males in Punjab and North Western Frontier Province, whereas the other two provinces, Sindh and Balochistan, did not show any such trend.

Conclusion. Smoking is common in Pakistan. There is no clear policy on tobacco control in Pakistan.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1046/j.1360-0443.2001.9612184714.x

Affiliations: 1: Department of International Health, Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health, Baltimore, MD, USA 2: Pakistan Medical Research Council, Fatima Jinnah Medical College, Lahore, Pakistan

Publication date: December 1, 2001

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