Annals of African Medicine
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Year : 2015  |  Volume : 14  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 1-7

Smoking habits, awareness of risks, and attitude towards tobacco control policies among medical students in Lagos, Nigeria

Department of Medicine, College of Medicine, University of Lagos, Lagos, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Obianuju B Ozoh
Department of Medicine, College of Medicine, University of Lagos, Lagos
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1596-3519.148701

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Background: This study aimed to assess the prevalence of cigarette smoking among medical students, and to determine their level of knowledge regarding risk associated with cigarette smoking and their attitude and behavior towards tobacco control strategies and policies. Materials and Methods: A stratified random sampling approach was used to select participants. A modified version of the the Global Health Professional Students Survey questionnaire was self-administered. Descriptive statistics were applied and comparisons were done using chi-square test. Multivariate logistic regression was used to obtain the significant determinants of smoking. A P < 0.05 was considered significant. Results: A total of 250 students participated in the study with a response rate of 89.2%. The mean age (years) was 21.4 ΁ 3. Rate of ever smoking and current smoking was 9.6 and 1.2%, respectively. Age > 21, having a smoking father, and use of alcohol were significantly associated with ever smoking. Knowledge of smoking as a risk for emphysema was 72.8%, coronary artery disease 82.8%, stroke 68.8%, and low birth weight 76.4%. There were 103 (41.2%) students aware of antidepressant usage in smoking cessation. One hundred and ninety-five (78%) offered smoking cessation advice if a smoker had no smoking-related disease and did not seek their opinion about smoking, 68.8% affirmed to having adequate knowledge on smoking cessation, and 56.8% had received formal training on smoking cessation techniques. The ban on cigarette smoking in enclosed public places was supported by 92.4%. Conclusions: The prevalence of current cigarette smoking among medical students in Lagos is relatively low. Gaps exist in the level of knowledge of the students regarding risks of cigarette smoking, tobacco cessation strategies, and in their attitude and behavior towards offering tobacco cessation advice. There is need therefore to include formal training on tobacco control strategies at an early stage in the medical curriculum.

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