Nearly 1.1 million women in Saudi Arabia are smokers but the number if dwarfed by male smokers who are estimated at six million, according to a local study.
Total consumption of tobacco in the world’s dominant oil power and largest Arab economy exceeded 40,000 tonnes last year, with a value of nearly SR12 billion ($3.2 billion), showed the study by the Khair anti-smoking association, a private company based in the western town of Makkah.
It showed school students account for nearly 15-27 per cent of total smokers in Saudi Arabia, which has the 29th highest smoking rate in the world.
“Average individual tobacco consumption in Saudi Arabia is estimated at 2,130 cigarettes a year…there are nearly 1.1 million smoking women and six million smoking men, one of the highest rates in the world.”
In mid-2010, Saudi Arabia had a population of around 27.1 million, including nearly 19 million Saudis.