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Original Research

RMJ. 2017; 42(1): 102-107

Comparison between tobacco smoking among medical and non-medical students – a cross-sectional study

Yousaf Ajam, Haroon Sohail, Syed Fahmeed Imam, Muhammad Sabih Saleem, Mujtaba Shahbaz, Avais Raja, Khurram Irshad Qureshi, Sajida Naseem.


Objective: The primary objective of this study is to compare smoking trends among medical and non-medical university students. The secondary objective was intended at finding the determinants of shisha and cigarette smoking among university students
Methodology: A cross-sectional questionnaire based survey over a period of 12 months (2013-2014) was carried out consisting of 600 students aged 18-25 years from three medical and four non-medical universities of Islamabad and Rawalpindi, Pakistan.
Results: We distributed a total of 700 questionnaires, out of which 600 students (85.71%) filled the self-developed questionnaire. Only 531 questionnaires (88.5%) were valid i.e. accurately filled. 36.7% were medical students and 63.3% were non-medical students. The prevalence of cigarette and shisha smoking among medical students was 25.6% and 29.2%, respectively and among non-medical students was 39.9% and 38.4%, respectively. There were 64.5% male smokers, compared to 21% female smokers in both medical and non-medical students. 26.1% and 48.9% participants from both groups started cigarette or shisha smoking due to curiosity and for pleasure seeking respectively. 43.2% of medical students said that increased medical knowledge did not help them quit smoking.
Conclusion: The prevalence of cigarette and shisha smoking was higher in non-medical compared to that of the medical students. However, there was a significant decline in the smoking trends compared to the previous data from Pakistan.

Key words: Cigarette Smoking, waterpipe smoking, hookah smoking, medical students.

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