Turkish Journal of Medical Sciences




This study was carried out to assess the behaviours and attitudes of medical students towards smoking and perceptions of their future role in this matter as doctors. For this purpose, a questionnaire was given to 215 medical students enrolled in the Faculty of Medicine of Süleyman Demirel University in Isparta, Turkey, during the 2000-2001 session. Of the students, 106 (49.3%) had never smoked and 17 (7.9%) were former smokers. Of the 92 (42.8%) students who had smoked for at least six months in their lifetime, 11 (12.0%) were ex-smokers. Of the current smokers, 61 (75.3%) were daily smokers and 20 (24.7%) were occasional smokers. The daily smoking rate was 20.5% in the first year students and 35.7% in the sixth year students. Of the current smokers, 63 (77.8%) considered stopping smoking and 45 (55.6%) had tried to stop smoking. The mean age for trying the first cigarette was 16.9 years and the major reason was stress. Of the current smokers, 75 (92.6%) considered smoking harmful to health, 66 (81.5%) worried that smoking was harmful to their health, but 10 (12.3%) did not worry about it. Concerning the diseases related to smoking, there was a positive relation between the knowledge level of the students and training year. Of all the students, 64 (29.8%) thought that their current knowledge was sufficient to persuade patients to stop smoking and 81 (37.7%) did not believe that it was necessary to increase the selling price of tobacco products to control the prevalence of smoking. These findings suggest that there is a greater need for education about smoking in the medical curriculum.


Medical students, smoking, prevalence, behaviours, attitudes

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