Annals of Tropical Medicine and Public Health
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Year : 2012  |  Volume : 5  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 327-329

Knowledge, attitude and prevalence of use of tobacco among medical students in India: A single centre cross sectional study

1 Department of Medicine, University College of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India
2 Department of Gastroenterology, PGIMER, Chandigarh, India
3 Department of Medicine, AIIMS, New Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
Sourabh Aggarwal
257/6, Central town, Jalandhar City, Punjab - 144 001
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1755-6783.102041

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Background and Objectives: Tobacco is a major cause of increased morbidity and mortality in the world. The medical students represent one of the primary target populations for anti-tobacco programs, and thus we conducted a study to evaluate prevalence of tobacco use among medical students. Materials and Methods: This was a cross-sectional study conducted among the medical undergraduate students. Data was collected through a self-administered questionnaire. Participation in this study was voluntary and kept anonymous and confidential. The questionnaire included information about demographic data of participants and smoking patterns. "Ever use," "current use," and "never use" was defined as 'having used tobacco even once in their lifetime,' 'once in the last 30 days preceding the survey,' and 'not even once in their lifetime.' Results: The questionnaire was emailed to 225 students. 52.44% complete responses were found appropriate for analysis. 27.11% students were current tobacco users, 18.64% were 'ever users' and 54.23% students were 'never users.' 32.5% hostellers admitted using tobacco currently, compared to 15.78% day scholars. 62.5% students with positive family history of smoking were 'current smokers' compared to 45.45% 'ever users,' and 37.5% 'never users.' 68.75% current users of tobacco indicated that they would try to quit tobacco use in the future. 81.25% current users and 93.02% non-current users of tobacco were of opinion that smoking should be banned in public areas. Discussion: The findings of our study are comparable to similar studies done earlier. The preventive effect of parental supervision on the use of tobacco was quite evident in our study. There was also a positive correlation between current use of tobacco and presence of a positive history of tobacco use in family. The role of peer pressure and stress of studies are particularly important, and efforts need to be done to reduce them and to adequately educate medical students.

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