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Kuwait – Health Issues

Kuwait, a country located in the Middle East, has experienced significant economic growth and development in recent years, but its citizens still face a range of health challenges. In this article, we will explore some of the common health issues affecting the population in Kuwait, as well as the prevalence of smoking and related legislation in the country.

Common Health Issues in Kuwait


Obesity is a significant health issue in Kuwait, with the country ranking as one of the most obese nations in the world. According to the World Population Review, approximately 37% of Kuwait’s population is considered obese. This high rate of obesity is attributed to a combination of factors, including a sedentary lifestyle, unhealthy eating habits, and a lack of physical activity. The high prevalence of obesity puts Kuwaitis at risk for several chronic health conditions, such as heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure.


Type 2 diabetes is also prevalent in Kuwait, with the country ranking as one of the highest in the world in terms of diabetes prevalence. According to the International Diabetes Federation, approximately 15% of Kuwait’s population has diabetes. This high rate of diabetes is attributed to factors such as the high prevalence of obesity, unhealthy eating habits, and a lack of physical activity.

Cardiovascular Disease

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Cardiovascular disease is also a significant health issue in Kuwait, with heart disease being the leading cause of death in the country. According to a study published in the Journal of the Saudi Heart Association, approximately 32% of deaths in Kuwait are due to cardiovascular disease. Risk factors for cardiovascular disease in Kuwait include a sedentary lifestyle, unhealthy eating habits, smoking, and high blood pressure.


Cancer is also a significant health issue in Kuwait, with cancer rates increasing in recent years. According to the Kuwait Cancer Control Center, the most common types of cancer in Kuwait are breast cancer, colon cancer, lung cancer, and prostate cancer. Risk factors for cancer in Kuwait include smoking, unhealthy eating habits, and exposure to environmental toxins.

Smoking in Kuwait

Smoking is prevalent in Kuwait, with approximately 22% of the population being regular smokers. In addition to cigarettes, smoking shisha (also known as hookah or waterpipe) is also popular in Kuwait. According to a study published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, approximately 11% of the population in Kuwait smoke shisha regularly.

Attitudes towards Smoking

Despite the high prevalence of smoking in Kuwait, attitudes towards smoking are changing. In recent years, there has been an increased awareness of the health risks associated with smoking, and many Kuwaitis are choosing to quit smoking or not start smoking at all. However, there is still a significant number of smokers in the country, and smoking remains socially acceptable in many circles.

Legislation on Smoking

The Kuwaiti government has implemented several laws and regulations to reduce the prevalence of smoking in the country. The following are some of the smoking-related laws in Kuwait:

  • The sale of tobacco products to individuals under the age of 18 is prohibited.
  • Smoking is banned in public places, including restaurants, cafes, and shopping malls.
  • Tobacco advertising is banned in Kuwait.

However, enforcement of these laws can be challenging, and there are still many public places where smoking is allowed. Additionally, shisha smoking is often exempt from smoking bans, which can contribute to the high prevalence of smoking in the country.

In conclusion, Kuwait faces several health challenges, including lifestyle diseases such as obesity, diabetes, and heart disease, as well as high rates of smoking. Despite the high prevalence of smoking, there is increasing awareness of the dangers of smoking and anti-smoking initiatives in place. The government has also implemented laws regulating smoking in public places and the sale of tobacco products. However, more needs to be done to address the prevalence of lifestyle diseases in Kuwait, including promoting healthy diets and physical activity.

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