Smoking Prevalence and Attitudes Regarding its Control Among Health Professional Students in South‑Western Nigeria
Background: Tobacco use is one of the leading preventable causes of morbidity and mortality globally; about 70% of smokers see physicians each year. Health care professionals have a very unique role in motivating people to quit smoking.
Aim: The aims of this study were to document the smoking prevalence and attitudes regarding its control among these set of students who will be tomorrow’s health care providers.
Subjects and Methods: A cross‑sectional survey was conducted in two medical schools in South‑Western Nigeria with their accompanied nursing and pharmacy students. All students in the selected schools were eligible to participate and student’s participation was voluntary. The Global Health Professional Students Survey core questionnaire was used to collect data on smoking prevalence and attitudes regarding its control. The data were summarized using percentages and confidence interval (CI) was calculated using standard error of mean. Pearson’s Chi‑square and fisher’s exact were employed to test the significance.
Results: Life‑time prevalence of cigarette smoking was 17.9% (121/675) with (95% confidence interval [CI] 15‑20.8). Only 5.04% (34/675) with (95% CI 3.7‑7.1) of the respondents were currently smoking. Ever smokers were significantly less likely than non‑smokers to indicate that tobacco sales to adolescents should be banned (P < 0.01). Fewer smokers than non‑smokers agreed that there should be a complete ban on advertising of tobacco products (P < 0.001). 93.3% of them said that they were taught about danger of smoking but only 48.6% ever heard of using anti‑depressant in tobacco cessation program.
Conclusions: Smoking prevalence among health professional students in South‑West Nigeria is relatively low; however, majority believed that health‑care providers serve as role models for their patients and the public.
Keywords: Prevalence, Health‑ professional students, Smoking, South-western Nigeria