Smoking among adult males in an urban community of Karachi, Pakistan

Ali Khan Khuwaja, Muhammad Masood Kadir

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


Smoking is the single most important avoidable cause of premature morbidity and mortality in the world. It is a major public health problem in Pakistan. The objectives of this study were to assess smoking status and its relationship to socio-demographic characteristics, and to determine the behavior of male smokers in an urban community in Karachi, Pakistan. A cross-sectional, household survey was conducted among 396 males, aged 15 years and above in January and February 2002. The overall prevalence of current smokers was 34%. By univariate analysis, the factors associated with smoking were younger age (15-29 years) (OR=4.2, 95% CI 2.1-7.3) as compared to older age (> 45 years), unmarried as compared to married (OR=3.1, 95% CI 1.9-5.4), educated for > 12 years compared to those with an education of 0-5 years (OR=2.0, 95% CI 1.2-3.3), and being student as compared to being an office/business worker (OR=3.2, 95% CI 1.8-5.4). The majority of smokers (55%) began smoking when younger than 25 years, smoked for more than 5 years (53%), smoked more than 10 cigarettes a day (55%) and smoked in public places (82%). Forty-two percent of the smokers used tobacco in other forms as well. Fifty-eight percent of smokers smoked to relieve anger and frustration and 30% smoked due to friend or peer pressure. In conclusion, smoking is a major problem in especially in younger age groups. There is an urgent need for health promotion and anti-tobacco education in combating the epidemic of smoking in Pakistan.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)999-1004
Number of pages6
JournalSoutheast Asian Journal of Tropical Medicine and Public Health
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2004


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