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Paper Description


Smoking Behavior of Arabian Gulf University Medical Students: Impact of Tobacco Control Policies and Curriculum


Authors: Hamadeh RR
Abstract: Background: A survey conducted in the early 1990s among medical students in the College of Medicine and Medical Sciences (CMMS), Arabian Gulf University (AGU), showed that 27.5% of the male students were smokers compared to 2.3% of their female counterparts. Several tobacco control actions have taken place since the time of that study as well as increased emphasis on tobacco-related issues in the curriculum.
Objectives: The objectives of this study were to determine if changes had occurred in the smoking behavior of CMMS students following the increased tobacco control measures and the concerted efforts in the dissemination of tobacco-related education in the curriculum.
Methods: Enrolled CMMS students during the academic year 2004-2005 were included in this study. The Global Health Professionals Survey self-administered questionnaire was used. Smokers were those who smoked any type of tobacco at the time of the study including daily and occasional use. Ex-smokers were students who did not smoke any type of tobacco during the study period and had quitted for a period of at least six months. Mixed smokers were those who smoked both cigarettes and sheesha. Results from an earlier study were used for comparison as baseline data.
Results: The prevalence of smoking among male students had increased from 27.5 % to 35.2% (p=0.096). A sharper rise had occurred among the females as the prevalence rate increased from 2.3% to 7.0% (p=0.028). The percentage of sheesha smoking was 31.3% among male students and 6.1% among female students compared to 8.8% and nil in the previous study (p<0.0001). There was no significant change in the prevalence of cigarette smoking in both sexes. Smoking was more prevalent among final year students (47.7%) in males and first year students (12.3%) in females.
Conclusion: The rise in smoking among CMMS medical students is alarming and necessitates urgent intervention. Revision of the smoking curriculum to address the deficiencies in smoking cessation techniques and in promoting the exemplary role of medical students in society is required.
Keywords: medical students, smoking, cigarettes, waterpipe, sheesha, tobacco, parental smoking
Published in: J Bahrain Med Soc;24(2):56-61
URL: http://jbmsonline.com/index.php/jbms/article/view/130
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