Demographic Methods to Quantifying the Health Damage of Smoking Among Palestinian Men Living in the West Bank


In the occupied Palestinian territories, people are stressed by continuously land confiscation, house demolitions, injustice, economic hardship, unemployment, and lack of future prospects. This might aggravate tobacco addiction, facilitate aggressive marketing from the tobacco industry, and obstruct the Palestinian health authorities’ anti-smoking policy. The smoking prevalence among men living in the West Bank is about 40%, but is lower in the Gaza Strip and among women. The study quantified the impact of smoking on life expectancy and disease-free life expectancy among West Bank male smokers using data from the Palestinian Family Survey 2010 on smoking and disease prevalence. Furthermore, the study used mortality data from United Nations Population Division Department of Economic and Social Affairs and relative risks for death for smokers and ex-smokers versus never smokers. This case study is an example of how to carry out a study that estimates the impact of risk factor exposure on life and health expectancy by use of the Sullivan method based on life tables, relative risk estimates for death by exposure level (available from international literature), and survey data on exposure and health.

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