Aim: Smokeless tobacco (ST) use is a significant health risk and cause of disease. Most studies conducted in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) focused on cigarette smoking. Therefore, the objective was to study the epidemiologic pattern and types of oral ST usage in northern and western Saudi Arabia.
Materials and methods: A total of 428 volunteers living in three cities (Hail, Mecca, and Tabuk) were investigated. All of the study subjects were currently ST users of one type or more, including toombak, shammah, pan masala (PM), Afdhal, Nashooq, and others.
Results: Most of the study population were found to use toombak representing 127/428 (29.7%), followed by shammah, PM, Afdhal, Nashooq, Adani, Qat, Majun, and others, representing 67/428 (15.7%), 66/428 (15.4%), 44/428 (10.3%), 36/428 (8.4%), 32/428 (7.5%), 23/428 (5.4%), 22/428 (5.1%), 21/428 (4.9%), and 13/428 (3%) respectively.
Conclusion: This survey showed a high prevalence of existing ST usage among foreign workers and Saudis, which can establish a prospective public health problem.
Clinical significance: Smokeless tobacco cessation is a crucial element of tobacco control policy since it is the most important determinant of many diseases, including oral cancer.