Smoking and exposure to environmental tobacco smoke among health occupations students in Iran
AbstractObjective: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the smoking behaviour and exposure to environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) among the students of Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences (SBUMS).
Methods: This survey was conducted using a self-administered anonymous questionnaire mainly based on the Persian version of the Global Health Professions Student Survey (GHPSS) questionnaire. The students of eight disciplines (Dentistry, Environmental health engineering, Medicine, Nursing, Nutrition, Pharmacy, Physiotherapy, and Public health) of SBUMS were invited to participate in this study. Chi-square test, Mann-Whitney U test, and logistic regression served for statistical analyses. The P-value of ≤ 0.05 was considered statistically significant.
Results: A total of 290 students (151 male) participated in the study. About 1.4% of the participants were 15-18 years old, 85.5% were 19-24, 8.6% were 25-29, 3.4% were 30 or older, and 1.0% of them did not report their age. Among all the disciplines, dental students reported the highest prevalence (52.0%) for current cigarette smoking while public health students reported the lowest (0.0%). Regarding the prevalence of exposure to ETS, nutrition students reported the highest (96.4%), and nursing students reported the lowest (57.1%). Current cigarette smoking was reported by 34.4% of the participants. This rate was significantly higher in men when compared to women (P˂0.001). Among participants, 78.6% had been exposed to ETS. The frequency distribution of exposure to ETS was statistically significantly different between males and females (P ˂ 0.001).
Conclusion: This study showed that the prevalence of current cigarette smoking and/or the prevalence of exposure to ETS among the students of SBUMS were alarming. These results have further highlighted the importance and necessity of planning to reduce tobacco use and increase awareness of the harmful effects of tobacco products on overall health among the students of SBUMS.
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