It was estimated in a previous survey  that the overall prevalence of current Khat use in Jazan region is 48.7 percent. The present study showed that the current prevalence rates of Khat chewing among secondary school and college students was 21.1% and 19.2%, respectively. This means that the prevalence of khat among college and secondary school students is much lower than its prevalence in the general population. The reason for the lower prevalence among secondary school and college students needs further investigation. It could be speculated that the low prevalence of khat among students is due to increased awareness towards the harmful effects of khat in addition to the unavailability of adequate income to purchase khat.
The overall khat use was found in a previous study  to be high in the following provinces: Sabiya (72.5%), Jizan (61.7%), Alhurath (58.1%), Abu Arish (56.8%), and Samtah (55.7%). The present study showed that the prevalence of khat use among the students in the same provinces was: Alhurath (34.70%), Abu Arish (32.90%), Samtah (24.40%), Sabiya (20.30%), and Jizan (10.80%). Sixty three per cent of the students surveyed from Faifa province used khat. This shows that among the study participants khat tended to be used more frequently in Faifa than it was in other provinces, with only 6.3 per cent of Farsan respondents using khat. Faifa is a known area for khat production. The Saudi government has enacted a further law prohibiting the expansion of khat cultivation within the Faifa mountain area (near to Jazan city). Khat cultivation is now controlled and supervised by the Ministry of Interior under a local administration called the Faifa Development Authority (established 1978). The authority has offered financial and practical assistance to khat cultivators to develop alternative crops, such as fruit and coffee trees. With the assistance of the National Guards, the authority now monitoring the mountain 24 hours a day and checking people and cars coming from the mountain, in order to detect khat smugglers. However, their control is ineffective in some areas as khat is still used privately in houses of the Faifa Mountain. Visitors from Jazan city and other neighbouring towns can come to the mountain chew khat as they wish. They then leave without taking any khat with them .
The rates of prevalence of khat use among students reported in this study are lower (21.4%) compared to similar studies in other countries. A study in Ethiopia revealed 26.7% life time prevalence rate of khat chewing among students . The possible explanations for this difference could be that the Ethiopian study was done only in one college (GCMS). Another study  revealed that the prevalence of khat chewing among secondary school students in south-western Ethiopia was 64.9%.
The pattern of use of khat among 479 medical and paramedical students in a boarding college in north-western Ethiopia was studied by an anonymous self-administered questionnaire . The majority of students were males (82.6%) within an average age of 21.2 years. The prevalence rate of current use of khat was 22.3%, which is nearly similar to the prevalence of khat use reported in this study.
A study performed in three towns in south-western Uganda  where one hundred and thirty students were compared with thirty five law enforcement officials and sixteen transporters. The study showed that among the students 57 (31.5%) had chewed khat before, 37 (20.4%) still chewing khat. In the three categories of subjects, the use of khat was highest among law enforcement officials (97.1%), followed by transporters (68.8%) and students (9.2%). The majority of khat chewers were in the age range of 16–25 years.
Few reports could be found in the literature on the prevalence of khat among the school students. However, survey studies dealing with other populations were also documented. A study examined the prevalence of khat chewing among women during pregnancy . About 40.7% of the surveyed women reported chewing khat while pregnant during the 5 years before the survey. Another study  reported khat use, together with other drugs, among active security personnel and militia in Somalia. It was reported that the most frequent form of drug use is khat chewing (on average, 70.1% in the previous week). In the last cross-sectional assessment of khat intake before the collapse of state of Somalia, Elmi  reported that its prevalence in the 1980s in the north of the country was 64% in adult males compared to 21% in the south. It was recently reported in northwestern Somalia (Somaliland)  that khat use was more frequent and excessive among male ex-combatants (60%) than among adult male civilian war survivors (28%) and males without war experience (18%; p < 0.001). A survey of 1200 adults from a rural Ethiopian community  found that the current prevalence of khat chewing was 31.7%. Muslims more than Christians, males more than females, those between the ages 15 and 34 years more than other age groups were habitual users of khat.
The present study revealed that 37.7% of boys and 3.7% of girls are current Khat chewers. Similar differences were reported in a survey carried out in a rural Ethiopian community . It was found that the prevalence of current khat use was 50%. Among current chewers, 17.4% reported taking khat on a daily basis; 16.1% of these were male and 3.4% were female. This higher prevalence of khat use among male respondents is in accordance with the greater cultural acceptance in a Moslem society of men rather than women using it. One limitation of this study is that 100% response was not obtained. This is usually one of the limitations of self-administered questionnaires . The other limitation could be that all students might not give genuine answer to the questions. This might underestimate the prevalence of khat chewing in this study.
A previous survey  estimated that the highest overall prevalence of khat use in Jazan region was reported in rural areas (61.7 percent) compared to urban areas (45.7 percent). A survey carried out in a rural Ethiopian community  on a total of 10,468 adults found that more than half of the study population (55.7%) reported lifetime khat chewing experience and the prevalence of current use was 50%. The findings of the present survey showed that Khat chewers among students were more in urban areas (24.50) than in rural areas (20.50%), this difference, however, was not statistically significant.
The secondary school and the university age (15–25 years) constitute a critical period of lifetime. As in previous studies  the present study revealed that the prevalence of khat chewing increases with age and year of study. In a study that involved all the instructors in four colleges in north-west Ethiopia , it was found that the current prevalence rate of khat chewing was 21.0%. The majority of the instructors (40.0%) started khat chewing while they were senior high school or first year college students . The main reasons mentioned for starting chewing were "peer pressure" and "for relieving stress". This is an important indication to direct interventions towards decreasing the prevalence of these habits. Additionally, students need counselling service on ways of coping with their problems.
Several studies revealed also that it is during the secondary school and the college age (15–25 years) that khat use is associated with risk behaviours. This could be attributed to biological, psychological, sociocultural and economic factors. It was found that the young people in Ethiopia , particularly those aged 15–25 years, are generally at a high risk of HIV/AIDS and other reproductive health problems. Of the 628 study subjects, 64.8% had experienced sexual intercourse at the time of the survey. In another study  a probabilistic national sample of 20,434 in-school and out-of-school Ethiopian youths aged between 15 and 24 years of age were interviewed regarding khat use. It was found that daily Khat intake was associated with unprotected sex.