Prevalence of Cigarette Smoking among Hawler Medical University Students


Background and Objectives: Tobacco smoking is a growing public health problem in the developing countries. This study estimates the prevalence of smoking and assesses the socio-demographic correlates of smoking among Hawler Medical University students in Erbil city.Methods: A cross sectional study was conducted during March - April 2007 on 600 students in Hawler Medical University. A systematic stratified sampling method was used. A special questionnaire was used. Data on age and sex of the students, name of college, number of cigarette smoked per day, and age of starting smoking were obtained.Results: out of the 587 respondents, 72 students were smokers giving a prevalence rate of 12.3%.The prevalence of smokers were much higher in males than females (23.9% and 1.9%, respectively). The highest rate of smokers was among the age group 24-26 year in both sexes. 50% of students started smoking at the age of 18-22 years.Conclusions: The prevalence of smoking is comparatively higher taking into consideration that the study was conducted on students of medical and allied health sciences and that more than half of students started smoking during study years. The study recommends integrating health awareness programmes about smoking hazards in the medical education curriculum.