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SMOKING PREVALENCE AND AWARENESS OF THE DETRIMENT OF TOBACCO SMOKING AMONG STUDENTS IN MEDICAL UNIVERSITY


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Abstract

Introduction. A high level of tobacco use among medical workers is registered in Russia. The adherence to this bad habit can undermine the medical professionals’ authority and reduce the effectiveness of the preventive work with the population. The goal of this research was to determine the smoking prevalence among medical students, their level of awareness of health risks, and attitudes of smokers to this bad habit. Material and methods. The survey concerning the prevalence and attitudes towards smoking was conducted among the students of the medical faculty of the Sechenov University. Students were asked about biographical data, health status at the time of the survey, attitudes towards healthy lifestyles and smoking, the respondents’ awareness of the detriment of tobacco smoking, attitudes to the anti-smoking campaign. A separate block of questions was addressed to smokers (smoking experience, smoking intensity, reasons for initiation). Results. Of the 531 respondents, 18.0% were smokers at the time of the survey, 9.4% were former smokers, 72.5% never smoked. 59.6% of smokers had low smoking intensity. 3.2% of smokers had high smoking intensity. Smoking experience in both sex groups averaged 4.56 years. The main reasons for students’ initiation to smoking were curiosity (27.8%), the influence of the closest active smoking environment (21.5%), as well as existing problems in the family and the educational process (16.7%). Most of the students were informed about the negative effects of smoking and 82.7% of current smokers planned to give up smoking. 94% of smokers believed they to need professional help to stop smoking. Discussion. The prevalence of smoking among students at Sechenov University is comparable to the data of the Global Survey of Medical Students. Conclusions. Smoking is still common among medical students. The training of future health care workers in knowledge and skills to stop smoking should be carried out within an additional curriculum in a medical university.


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