Cigarette smoking among university students in Greece: a comparison between medical and other students
Rent the article at a discountRent now
* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.Get Access
The purpose of the study was to investigate the smoking habits of medical and other students and to explore the most important factors associated with students’ smoking.
University students were surveyed in late spring 2006 regarding their smoking status and additional health- and behavior-related characteristics.
A total of 1205 (269 medical and 936 nonmedical) students participated in the study. Of these 47% reported being current smokers (35% among medical students), and 30% of the smokers had already started smoking at the age of 16 years. Smokers reported a significantly higher prevalence of cough and respiratory infections and a decrease in physical fitness. The most important factor associated with smoking prevalence was friendship with smokers and maternal smoking. A better knowledge of harmful effects showed a strong association with nonsmokers. Although nonmedical students exhibited a greater possibility to be a smoker, awareness of harmful effects among medical students was not as significant as factor against smoking compared with among nonmedical students.
This study shows that smoking prevalence among medical and other students in Greece is extremely high. A lack of effective education against smoking in medical students was evident and this underlines the need to identify the factors to be included in planning effective antismoking programs.
- World Health Organization (WHO): Facts and figures about tobacco. http://www.who.int/tobacco/fctc/cop/en/index.html (2006). Accessed 21 May 2009.
- World Health Organization. WHO Report on the Global Tobacco Epidemic, 2008: the MPOWER package. Geneva: World Health Organization; 2008.
- Steptoe A, Wardle J, Cui W, et al. An international comparison of tobacco smoking, beliefs and risk awareness in university students from 23 countries. Addiction. 2002;97:1561–71. CrossRef
- Rundall TG, Bruvold WH. A meta-analysis of school-based smoking and alcohol use prevention programs. Health Educ. 1988;15:317–34.
- Morrell HE, Cohen LM, Dempsey JP. Smoking prevalence and awareness among undergraduate and health care students. Am J Addict. 2008;17:181–6. CrossRef
- Saleiro S, Damas C, Gomes I. Smoking habits and awareness of smoking risks depending on academic background in university students. Rev Port Pneumol. 2008;14:231–8.
- Thyrian JR, Panagiotakos DB, Polychronopoulos E, West R, Zatonski W, John U. The relationship between smokers’ motivation to quit and intensity of tobacco control at the population level: a comparison of five European countries. BMC Public Health. 2008;8:2. CrossRef
- Vardavas CI, Kafatos AG. Smoking policy and prevalence in Greece: an overview. Eur J Public Health. 2007;17:211–3. CrossRef
- Linardakis M, Sarri K, Bervanaki F, Markatzi I, Hatzis C, Flouri S, et al. Ten-year evaluation of the initiation of a health education program in the schools of Crete. Paediatriki. 2003;66:436–47. (in Greek).
- Kokkevi A, Terzidou M, Politikou K, Stefanis C. Substance use among high school students in Greece: outburst of illicit drug use in a society under change. Drug Alcohol Depend. 2000;58:181–8. CrossRef
- Sichletidis LT, Chloros D, Tsiotsios I, Kottakis I, Kaiafa O, Kaouri S, et al. High prevalence of smoking in Northern Greece. Prim Care Respir J. 2006;15:81–3. CrossRef
- University of Patras: Education. http://www.upatras.gr (2009). Accessed 21 May 2009.
- Mammas IN, Bertsias GK, Linardakis M, Tzanakis NE, Labadarios DN, Kafatos AG. Cigarette smoking, alcohol consumption, and serum lipid profile among medical students in Greece. Eur J Public Health. 2003;13:278–82. CrossRef
- Steptoe A, Wardle J, Cui W, et al. Trends in Smoking, Diet, Physical Exercise and Attitudes toward Health in European University Students from 13 Countries, 1990–2000. Prev Med. 2002;35:97–104. CrossRef
- Xiang H, Wang Z, Stallones L, Yu S, Gimbel HW, Yang P. Cigarette smoking among medical college students in Wuhan, People’s Republic of China. Prev Med. 1999;29:210–5. CrossRef
- Zhu T, Feng B, Wong S, Choi W, Zhu SH. A comparison of smoking behaviors among medical and other college students in China. Health Promot Int. 2004;19:189–96. CrossRef
- Yang G, Fan L, Tan J, et al. Smoking in China: findings of the 1996 National Prevalence Survey. JAMA. 1999;282:1247–53. CrossRef
- Vakeflliu Y, Argjiri D, Peposhi I, Agron S, Melani AS. Tobacco smoking habits, beliefs, and attitudes among Medical Students in Tirana, Albania. Prev Med. 2002;34:370–3. CrossRef
- Akvardar Y, Demiral Y, Ergör G, Ergör A, Bilici M, Özer OA. Substance use in a sample of Turkish medical students. Drug Alcohol Depend. 2003;72:117–21. CrossRef
- Senol Y, Donmez L, Turkay M, Aktekin M. The incidence of smoking and risk factors for smoking initiation in medical faculty students: cohort study. BMC Public Health. 2006;6:128. CrossRef
- Kokkevi A, Stefanis C. The epidemiology of licit and illicit substance use among high school students in Greece. Am J Public Health. 1991;81:48–52. CrossRef
- Livaditis M, Samakouri M, Kafalis G, Tellidou C, Tzavaras N. Sociodemographic and psychological characteristics associated with smoking among Greek medical students. Eur Addict Res. 2001;7(1):24–31. CrossRef
- Lionis C, Wynn-Jones J. Establishing academic rural practice: a future and challenging target. Rural Remote Health. 2007;7:727.
- Newman IM, Ward JM. The influence of parental attitude and behavior on early adolescent cigarette smoking. J Sch Health. 1989;59:150–2. CrossRef
- Papathanasiou G, Georgakopoulos D, Georgoudis G, Spyropoulos P, Perrea D, Evangelou A. Effects of chronic smoking on exercise tolerance and on heart rate-systolic blood pressure product in young healthy adults. Eur J Cardiovasc Prev Rehabil. 2007;14(5):646–52. CrossRef
- Baska T, Straka S, Mad’ar R. Smoking habits in university students in Slovakia. Cent Eur J Public Health. 2000;8:245–8.
- Jarvis MJ, Wardle J, Waller J, Owen L. Prevalence of hardcore smoking in England, and associated attitudes and beliefs: cross sectional study. BMJ. 2003;326:1061. CrossRef
- Schaap MM, van Agt HME, Kunst AE. Identification of socioeconomic groups at increased risk for smoking in European countries: looking beyond educational level. Nicotine Tob Res. 2008;10(2):359–69. CrossRef
- Cigarette smoking among university students in Greece: a comparison between medical and other students
Environmental Health and Preventive Medicine
Volume 15, Issue 2 , pp 115-120
- Cover Date
- Print ISSN
- Online ISSN
- Springer Japan
- Additional Links
- Risk awareness
- Medical students
- Author Affiliations
- 1. Department of Public Health, Medical School, University of Patras, 26500, Rio Patras, Greece
- 2. Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Medical School, University of Patras, Rio Patras, Greece