Thoracic Research and Practice
Original Article

The Prevalence of Tobacco Product Use Among Students in the Faculty of Medicine at Pamukkale University and Their Views on the Smoke-Free Campus Implementation


Department of Public Health, Pamukkale University Faculty of Medicine, Kınıklı, Denizli, Turkey

Thorac Res Pract 2024; 25: 82-88
DOI: 10.5152/ThoracResPract.2024.23050
Read: 207 Downloads: 73 Published: 07 March 2024

OBJECTIVE: Tobacco use is an important risk factor for more than 20 types of cancer, especially cardiovascular and respiratory diseases, and many other health problems. Cigarettes are one of the most commonly used tobacco products in the world, and they can cause both physical and mental addiction. Adolescence is known to be the highest-risk period in terms of addiction among all age groups. As a result, smoke-free campus practices have become even more important in universities. This study investigates the prevalence of smoking among Pamukkale Medical School students and their views and behaviors regarding smoke-free campus practices.

MATERIAL AND METHODS: This cross-sectional study was conducted with 548 medical students at Pamukkale Universıty Faculty of Medicine during the academic year 2021-2022, between April 1-29, 2022. A face-to-face interview was conducted. Students’ smoking status and their views about a smoke-free campus were assessed. In the questionnaire, the independent variables were socio-demographic characteristics, duration of staying in a smoke-free environment, smoking status in the place of residence, areas where smoking is most common, Fagerström nicotine dependence level, knowledge about smoke-free campus applications and campuses with the smokefree application. The Statistical Package for the Social Sciences version 21.0 package program was used to analyze the data. Descriptive statistics are presented with numbers and percentages for categorical variables, while the arithmetic mean and standard deviation are used for continuous variables. The chi-square test was used to compare categorical variables,and the Kolmogorov-Smirnov analysis was used to test the compatibility of data to normal distribution.

RESULTS: The student smoking rate increased significantly as the number of semesters increased (P = .021). The smoking rate of male students was higher than that of female students (P = .001). The smoking rate of students living with their family or relatives was lower (P = .020). Smokers (14.7%) were more likely to have heard about the introduction of smoke-free zones on campus than nonsmokers (11%) (P = .280). 81.4% of students affirmed the statement, “The number of smoke-free rooms should be increased,” and 84.3% responded, “I support the existence of smoke-free spaces.” Nonsmoking students (90.8%) are more likely to agree that smoke-free spaces should be increased than those who smoke (57.7%) (P < .001). Among the students, 17.6% of nonsmokers and 37.8% of smokers find the information about smoke-free spaces sufficient (P < .001). The rate of those who consider smoke-free space inspections to be sufficient is lower for nonsmoking students than for nonsmokers (P = .017). Nonsmokers (89.5%) support the existence of smoke-free spaces to a higher degree than smokers (71.2%) (P < .001).

CONCLUSION: One-third of Pamukkale University Faculty of Medicine students smoke, and smoking rates are higher among men and those who do not live with family or relatives. All participants strongly support the existence of smoke-free zones (84.3%), while a proportion of tobacco users (31.4%) support the implementation of a smoke-free campus. Student opinions of the smoke-free zones and the smoke-free campus application are more positive among nonsmokers than smokers.

Cite this article as: Meydan Acımış N, Gündoğan M, Barış E, Akın M, Kandemir İ. The prevalence of tobacco product use among students in the faculty of medicine at Pamukkale University and their views on the smoke-free campus implementation. Thorac Res Pract. 2024;25(2):82-88.

EISSN 2979-9139