Brazilian Journal of Pulmonology

ISSN (on-line): 1806-3756 | ISSN (printed): 1806-3713


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Prevalence of and factors influencing smoking among medical and non-medical students in Tbilisi, Georgia

Prevalência de tabagismo e fatores que o influenciam em estudantes de medicina e outros universitários em Tbilisi, Geórgia

Ivane Chkhaidze, Nino Maglakelidze, Tamaz Maglakelidze, Nikolai Khaltaev

J Bras Pneumol.2013;39(5):579-584

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Objective: Smoking is a serious problem that has a devastating impact on health. The objective of this study was to describe the prevalence of and factors influencing smoking among medical and non-medical students in Tbilisi, Georgia, as well as to determine whether medical education has an impact on smoking. Methods: A cross-sectional study was carried out at Tbilisi State Medical University and Tbilisi State University, both of which are located in Tbilisi, Georgia. A total of 400 4th-year students (200 students at each university) were asked to complete standardized questionnaires. Results: Of the sample as a whole, 48.75% were identified as smokers and 51.25% were identified as nonsmokers. The mean age was 20.24 years among smokers and 20.26 years among nonsmokers. Of the medical students, 49.5% were smokers, as were 48.0% of the non-medical students. The male-to-female ratio in the study population was 0.9:1.1. Smoking was found to have a strong relationship with gender, males accounting for 65% of all smokers. Of the smokers, 56.9% stated that they would like to quit smoking (for health or financial reasons). Of the medical students, 59.5% expressed a willingness to quit smoking, as did 54.2% of the non-medical students. Conclusions: There is a need to improve smoking education for undergraduate students. Special attention should be given to the inclusion of anti-smoking education in undergraduate curricula, as well as to the implementation of smoking prevention campaigns at institutions of higher education. However, such measures will be effective only if tobacco control policies are strictly enforced on the national level as well.




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