Global Tobacco Control Updates

Cigarette smoking and hospitalization in Lebanon
22 Jun 2016
Research Alert

Tobacco smoking is a major risk factor for cardiovascular diseases, cancer, respiratory illnesses and a wide range of other negative health outcomes resulting in hospitalization. A study published in BMJ assessed the link between smoking and hospitalization. Cigarette smoking exposure was calculated according to smoking status (i.e., current, former, or never smoker) and “pack-years” (estimated based on duration, frequency, and intensity of smoking). The study was based on data from the 2009 Nutrition and Non-Communicable Disease Risk Factor survey. The sample included 2,836 adults age 18 years and older.


  • In Lebanon, 34.7% of adults are current smokers, with higher rates among males than females: 42.9% versus 27.5%.
  • Compared to non-smokers, former and current smokers were significantly more likely to be hospitalized.
  • Hospitalization increased significantly with increasing “pack-years” or life-time cigarette smoking.

Key Messages

  • Smoking increases the risk of hospitalization and death from tobacco-related diseases.
  • Quitting smoking improves health and reduces the burden on health care systems.
  • Highly effective measures for reducing smoking and helping smokers to quit include enacting and enforcing:
    • total bans on smoking in all indoor public places, workplaces and public transport; 
    • comprehensive bans on tobacco advertising, promotion, and sponsorship;
    • multiple rotating large graphic health warnings on all tobacco products; and
    • tobacco taxation and pricing policies that reduce the affordability of tobacco products.

Full Citation: Sibai AM, Iskandarani M, Darzi A, et al. Cigarette smoking in a Middle Eastern country and its association with hospitalisation use: a nationwide cross-sectional study. BMJ Open 2016; 6:e009881. doi:10.1136/ bmjopen-2015-009881.

Full text [English only] available from:

Additional Resources:

BMJ (formerly the British Medical Journal) is an international peer reviewed medical journal. Affiliated with the British Medical Association, it is one of the oldest general medical journals in the world.

If you have questions about the study or how you may use it in your advocacy efforts, please contact