Prevalence of Current Smoking among Students in University of Kerbala


Background: Tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of death and it is prevalentamong college students.Objective: To determine the prevalence and to study the determinants of smokinghabit and its associated factors among college students together with their level ofknowledge about the health effects of smoking and attitudes towards cessation.Design: A cross-sectional study.Setting: University of Kerbala, Kerbala, Iٌraq.Subjects and Methods: During December 2008 and January 2009, a sample of 1132students (603 male and 529 female), between17 and 28 years of age, selectedrandomly from 8 colleges, was taken. Each subject was questioned about his/her pastand present experience and attitude towards smoking, according to a modifiedArabian version of the World Health Organization (WHO) standard questionnaire,and the data was analyzed using the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences(SPSS) 16.0, P-value greater than 0.05 was considered as statistically insignificant.Results: Two hundred twenty students were smokers and 912 were nonsmokers. Ofthe smokers 201 smokers were males and 19 were females, fifty percent were lightsmokers, 37.7% were moderate smokers, and 12.3% percent were heavy smokers, andthe mean number of cigarettes smoked daily among the regular smokers was 14cigarettes.Conclusions: The prevalence of cigarette smoking was 19.4%, and half of thesmokers were “light smokers”. The majority of the smokers were aware of the badeffects of smoking and two thirds had a favorable attitude towards cessation.