Personality types and nicotine dependency among medical sciences students
Smoking has recently become a major public health threat among the youth of today in Iran. Many clinicians and researchers hypothesized that tobacco-related disorders are maintained by the ability of nicotine to regulate positive and negative mood states. Moreover, some research indicates that there is no correlation between personality type, cigarette smoking, and heart disease, while some others mention that people with personality type A are more inclined towards smoking and related diseases. Thus, to test this hypothesis, we have studied possible correlations between psychological personality and tobacco-dependency among university students in the central part of Iran. In the current study, the most prevalent personality type was B (56.8%), with A (43.2%). Regarding smoking status, 17.5% (70) of the students were smokers and 82.5% (330) nonsmokers; moreover, our results showed 66.7% (47) of smokers had low dependency and 33.3% (23) were physically dependent on nicotine. Concerning the difference between smokers and non-smokers based on their personality type, the results showed that 51.4% smokers had type A personality and 59.9% non-smokers were type B. There were also statistical differences between personality type and tobacco usage in students (p<0.05). We also found statistical differences between physical dependency and personality type; that is, 67.3% of smoking students who were physically dependent on nicotine had A type personality (p<0.05). The results suggest that there are several psychological types having higher association with tobacco use than other types. It poses some additional challenges for students’ support services to address mental health problems. The personality type in our study turned out to be an important factor influencing the nicotine dependency of the students.
Keywords: Dependency; Personality; Adult; Smoking; Educational achievement; Students; Iran