Noreen Rahat Hashmi, Seema Daud, Iram Manzoor.
Smoking patterns of 4th year medical students.
Professional Med J Jan ;16(3):384-9.

Objective: To determine the smoking patterns of medical students of 4th year MBBS. Design: A cross-sectional survey. Setting: Lahore Medical and Dental College (LMDC), Lahore, Pakistan. Period : From November to December 2006. Methodology: The 50 medical students of 4th year MBBS, who were current smokers. A structured questionnaire was used to collect the data. Descriptive statistics was determined in terms of percentages. Results: In present study, 48% students started smoking between 14-17 years of age, 34% started to smoke between ages 18-21 years and 18% of them had been smoking for past 4-6 yrs. Main reason to commence smoking included curiosity (27%), need to look glamorous (22%), peer pressure (16%) and stress relieving (10%). When probed about numbers of cigarettes smoked daily, the response of majority was that 32% of students admitted to smoking 1-5 cigarettes, similar number admitted to smoking 6-10 cigarettes, and 30% of students smoked more than 20 cigarettes. Among the respondents, 41% had a brother who was a smoker and 37% had a father who was a smoker. More than half the respondents (58%) said that their parents were unaware of their smoking habit. Regarding awareness about the medical hazards of smoking, 31% of students named cancer, 29% mentioned heart disease, 18% were familiar with COPD and only 7% referred to stroke. The main concerns of respondents regarding smoking were fear of being discovered by their parents (22%), psychological dependence (20%) and physical dependence (18%). Only 50% of students tried to quit smoking, using hypnosis and substitutes like nicotine gum and nicotine patches. Conclusion: Tobacco smoking among medical students is alarming. These findings not only raise concerns for the future health of our medical students but also their credibility and effectiveness as health promoters for population at large.

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