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.

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