OBJECTIVE: To draw a profile, and study the media habits for cigarette smokers in Saudi Arabia using the Target Group Index survey (TGI). METHODS: A household survey using the TGI sample was conducted in March 2008 in 21 cities in Saudi Arabia. A sample of 7003 individuals aged 15 years or more, male and females, living in town and cities, were randomly selected using the multistage sampling technique. One individual per household was interviewed using a structured questionnaire covering socio-economic profile, media exposure, and cigarette consumer information. The study was conducted in Arabian Center for Tobacco Control, Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. RESULTS: Cigarette smoking was 35.9% in males, and 2.3% in females. This was significantly higher in the age group 30-49 years compared with younger ages (p=0.001). Among smokers, 22.3% were heavy smokers, 69.3% were using regular flavor cigarettes, and 22.4% tried to quit smoking but failed. The most common methods of quitting smoking were; nicotine gum (18.5%), hypnosis (14%), nicotine patch (8%), and acupuncture (3%). Ninety-eight percent of the smokers watched TV daily, noticed mainly big outdoor ads, and 46% used the Internet daily. Favorite TV and radio channels, newspaper, magazine, and interesting topics for the smokers were recorded, and the main smoker profile was drawn. CONCLUSION: The TGI can be used to draw a smoker profile and identify different segments with the greatest opportunities to send anti-smoking messages.
Saudi Med J. 2011 Oct;32(10):1055-9. Albedah AM, Khalil MK, Khalil AA, Elolemy AT. Arabian Center for Tobacco Control, Ministry of Health, Riyadh 11176, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.