Cigarette smoking among healthcare professional students of university of lagos and lagos university teaching hospital (luth), idi-araba, lagos, nigeria
Background: It is aknown fact that health professionals can play a critical role in reducing tobacco use. In fact, it has been shown that even brief and simple advice from health care professionals can substantially increase smoking cessation rates. Students in healthcare professions are
future healthcare professionals, identifying and documenting their knowledge, attitudes and practices with regards to tobacco smoking would shed light as to their future effectiveness in providing this much needed public health initiative in their practices.
Objective: This research was carried out to determine cigarette smoking habit among healthcare professional students of University of Lagos and Nursing students of Lagos University Teaching Hospital.
Methods: The study was a cross-sectional descriptive survey. Data was collected by the use of a structured, self administered questionnaire which was aimed at determining their smoking status and their attitudes. The
target population was first and final professional year students representing the two class extremes and attempt was made to survey all the students that fell within this identified target population without randomization. Data was collected between March and June 2007
Results: Out of 814 qualified participants, 433 responded to the questionnaire (53%). Smoking prevalence was highest among dental students (8.48%) while both Physiotherapy and Nursing students had nil prevalence rates. Overall, the current smoking prevalence was 3.93%.
There was no statistically significant difference between the smoking habits of first year and final year students (p= 0.99). Based on Fagerstrom nicotine addiction test, only a small proportion of the current smokers can be classified as being maximally addicted (6.0%).
Conclusions: From this study it can be concluded that smoking prevalence is low among healthcare professional students at the University of Lagos and this is a good indication that they would play critical role in reducing
tobacco use. It is recommended that a tobacco counselling unit should be
set up by the school authority.
Keywords: Smoking prevalence, Smoking Habit, Current smokers, Addiction (FNTD)