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Comparison of smoking habits between Jewish and Arabic youth in Israel

Session Poster Session III - Friday 08:30 - 12:30

Speaker Eliezer Klainman

Event : ESC Preventive Cardiology (Formerly EuroPrevent) 2015

  • Topic : preventive cardiology
  • Sub-topic : Tobacco
  • Session type : Poster Session

Authors : E Klainman (Rehovot,IL), I Gilboa (Rehovot,IL), A Yarmolovsky (Rehovot,IL), G Fink (Rehovot,IL)

Authors:
E Klainman1 , I Gilboa1 , A Yarmolovsky1 , G Fink1 , 1Pulmonary Institute, Kaplan MC, Exercise Physiology U. - Rehovot - Israel ,

Citation:

Aim of study: To investigate and compare the smoking habits and behavior between Jewish and Arabic youth in Israel.

Material and Methods: 5353 high school students were studied. 51% were males, 54% Jews and 46% Arabs. Among the Arabs – 40% were Muslims, 38% Bedouins, 16% Christians and 6% Druzzians. All participants were asked to fill a detailed and intensive questionnaire including general habits and behavior at school and home, smoking habits or smoking trials, physical activities, eating habits among others.

Results: 454 out of the 5353 participants (8.5%) reported of constant smoking, while  40.4% of the total participants reported about smoking history in their families.

The vast majority (81.7%) of the 454 smokers were males. 191 (42.1%) of them were Jews and 263 Arabs, a significant difference of 15% which might indicate a higher cultural trend of smoking within the Arabic population in Israel. On the other hand, only 13.7% (36) among the Arabic smokers were females compared to 24.6% (47) of the Jewish smokers. As referred to general habits and behavior, no significant differences between the two populations were observed on time of cellular phone conversations or Facebook chats. But, when compared to the whole group, the smokers used those two communication tools much more than the total group – 15.7% vs 6.6% and 23.7% vs 11.7% respectively, for more than five hours daily. A slitter difference of book readers were observed between the smokers and the total group: 5.5% vs 3.6%, respectively, but when compared between Arabs and Jews in the whole group, 7% of the Arabs used to read more than 5 hours daily compared to only 1% of the Jews. 45.3% of the whole group used to eat breakfast regularly compared to 39% of the smokers. 9.6% of the smokers are acting physically more than 9 hours weekly, compared to 7.4% of the total group. 2% of the Jewish compared to 3.2% of Arabs smokers have started smoking under the age of 7 years.

Conclusions: The Arabic youth tend to adapt smoking habits in Israel more than the Jewish ones. The finding of 2-3% of smokers who started smoking under the age of 7 is worrying and might recommend an adequate education even from the kindergarten ages. Significant differences in habit trends were observed between the smokers and the nonsmokers, and less differences or none between the Arabic and the Jewish smokers.

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