Prevalence of Tobacco Consumption and Its Contributing Factors among Students of a Private Medical College in Belgaum: A Cross Sectional Study
BACKGROUND: Tobacco consumption epidemic is one of the biggest public health threats that the world is facing and attracts the attention of researchers to identify the cause for the same in specific groups. Medical students act as mentors to fight against tobacco use, but several reports suggest that a good number of medical undergraduates are themselves addicted to tobacco use. Thus, the objective of the study was to determine the prevalence of tobacco consumption and its association with various factors among undergraduate medical students.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: A cross-sectional study was conducted on 372 undergraduate medical students from first to fourth year during November 2013 to January 2015. A pre-designed, pre-tested, structured and self-administered questionnaire was used. Statistical analysis was done using SPSS software version 16. Data was analyzed for percentage, Chi-square test and regression analysis to find association between tobacco use and various independent variables.
RESULT: The mean age of the participants was 21.2 (SD=2.28) years with a male-female ratio of 1.92:1. The prevalence of tobacco use was 27.1% (n=101). The overall prevalence of smoking and smokeless tobacco use was 22.6% (n=84) and 7.8% (n=29) respectively. The prevalence of current tobacco use was 24.2% (n=90). Among the ever tobacco users, about 3% (n=11) had quit using tobacco. Tobacco consumption was observed to be significantly associated with male gender (p<.001), increasing age (p<0.01), residing in hostels (p<.001) and with a parental history of using tobacco (p<.001).
CONCLUSION: The prevalence of tobacco use in smoking and smokeless form among undergraduate medical students was high.This has important implications in the strict implementation and monitoring of smoking-related rules in hostels of medical colleges, especially those related to peer-support.
KEYWORDS: Tobacco, Smoking, Medical students