Doha, 25 March, 2019: Staff at Hamad Medical Corporation’s (HMC) Tobacco Control Center have begun the fieldwork associated with a new study examining knowledge, attitudes, and practices related to tobacco use in Qatar. The study is thought to be the most comprehensive investigation of its type in the country and will seek input from Qatari citizens and non-Qatari residents, smokers and non-smokers, males and females. Employees of ministries, government organizations, media outlets, including Al Jazeera and Qatar TV, healthcare workers, and university students are among those being targeted by researchers.
Dr. Ahmad Al Mulla, Head of the HMC Tobacco Control Center, said the study has been endorsed by HMC’s Medical Research Center. He said the main goal of the study is to gather data on the prevalence of smoking and tobacco use among those aged 18 and above and information on the consumption rates of various tobacco products and paraphernalia, including cigarettes, shisha, sweika (chewing tobacco), pipes, cigars, e-cigarette, and e-shisha.
Researchers will seek input from those who have tried to quit smoking and will investigate which treatments they found most effective. The study will also address the relationship between tobacco use and tobacco product advertisements, and knowledge, attitudes, and opinions about smoking. Dr. Al Mulla said a number of related topics, including opinions on second-hand smoke and the impact of the recent rise in prices of tobacco products will also be examined.
On behalf of the research team and the Tobacco Control Center, Dr. Al Mulla thanked all cooperating organizations and ministries for their support of the study. The results of the study, which is expected to involve as many as 6,000 participants, will be released later this year and will be used to inform government policies and tobacco control public health initiatives.
HMC’s Tobacco Control Center provides education, support, and treatment for those wanting to stop smoking. In 2017, the Center was designated as a WHO Collaborating Centre, the first in Qatar and the region. WHO Collaborating Centres, which also include research institutes and parts of universities and academies, are designated to carry out activities in support of the WHO’s mandated international health work.