Smoking habits and beliefs of future physicians of Pakistan.

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OBJECTIVE: To assess the habits, knowledge and attitudes towards smoking among Pakistani medical students.

METHODS: A cross-sectional study was conducted from March 2004 to July 2005 at three medical colleges using a World Health Organization (WHO) questionnaire. A total of 1029 medical students participated in the study.

RESULTS: The prevalence of smoking was found to be 11.2%. Smoking was more prevalent among males, hostel residents and first year medical students. Almost half of the smokers had tried to quit smoking. A family member or a friend was considered to be the most likely person to help quit smoking. The majority believed that passive smoking was harmful to health and were generally supportive of legislative measures to reduce tobacco use, such as the restriction of smoking in public places and the prohibition of sale of tobacco to children. Lesser but significant numbers thought that there should be a complete ban on smoking advertisements and that the price of tobacco products should be increased.

CONCLUSION: The study shows a high prevalence of tobacco use in future physicians in spite of adequate knowledge about and a satisfactory attitude towards smoking.


The international journal of tuberculosis and lung disease : the official journal of the International Union against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease.