Our study examined the burden of smoking among 18 and above individuals in the United Arab Emirates. It is well known that cigarette smoking is a significant and independent risk factor for premature death, certain types of cancers and cardiovascular disease . We found the current smoking prevalence to be 9.1% among the selected population whereas, 0.8% of the respondents smoked tobacco on daily basis. These results were obtained may be due to the effect of epidemiological transition and globalisation .
World Health Organization revealed a global increase in cigarette smoking . The prevalence reported in our study was shown to be considerably lower than the national prevalence reported previously in the year 2010. Around 21.6% among men and 1.9% among women respectively . The percentage of smokers over the age of 18 years has gone as low as 9.1% down from 11.1% in 2010 . This decline may be due to activating Tobacco Control laws and regulations across UAE, health awareness campaigns, strengthening smoking cessation services, Federal Law No.15 of 2009 regarding Tobacco Control Public health draft law, increasing the number of smoking cessation clinics and levying Excise tax on tobacco products among other initiatives.
Our results also suggest that University students had highest prevalence of smoking compared to those in secondary levels of education (19.4%). The prevalence rate reported in our study was lower compared with the results from other studies in Arab countries conducted among health-related students, including 17.2% in Jordan  46.7% in Egypt  46% in Kuwait , and 26.3% in Lebanon . The results of our current study additionally substantiated a documented decline in the smoking prevalence. These results are commendable, since continuous monitoring is performed to sustain the effectiveness of tobacco control policies in the country. Thus, smoking prevalence recorded in this study was less than those reported in some other developing countries. A large cross-sectional study conducted in Abu Dhabi, reported modes of tobacco consumption and prevalence in the UAE. Overall, smoking prevalence reported in males was 24.3% and 0.8% in females. Highest prevalence was reported in males aged 20–39 years. Smoker’s mean age was 32.8 (SD = 11.1) years; “35.7 (SD = 12.1) in females, and 32.7 (11.1) in males.” One of the commonest form of tobacco use was cigarette smoking (77.4%), which was followed by 15.0% Midwakh use, 6.8% shisha (water pipe), and 0.66% cigar use . While in our study, most common form of smoked tobacco use was in the form of manufactured cigarettes followed by Shisha, Medwakh and E-cigarettes.
Furthermore, our results also suggest that prevalence rate of smoking was affected significantly by family income, which includes the smokers percentage among adults from families with no income was higher than those from high income ones. These results were in conformity with the WHO survey that states that the poorest men were over 2.5 times more likely to smoke than the richest men in numerous countries . A possible reason also could be that individuals with a lower socioeconomic status had more psychosocial, physical, and emotional problems. It should also be noted that not only wealth but other proxies of household socio-economic status – such as single-parent families and low levels of education and employment are also associated with higher prevalence of smoking. The smoking relate factors identified in this study should be taken into account in the adoption of antismoking programmes, that can make them more operational and better capable to influence the behaviours as well as attitudes of smokers.