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Smoking habits of pharmacy students attending the University of Medicine and Pharmacy in Targu Mures

Enikő Nemes-Nagy 1 , Zita Fazakas 1 , Zoltán Preg 2 , Mihály László 3 , Erzsébet Fogarasi 4 , Márta Germán-Salló 5 , Dalma Bálint-Szentendrey 2 , Edith Simona Ianosi 6 , Zoltán Ábrám 7 , Péter Balázs 8 , Foley Kristie 9 , István Kikeli Pál 3

 

Abstract: 

Smoking is common among health professional students. The aim of this study was to assess the smoking habits of the pharmacy students attending the University of Medicine and Pharmacy in Târgu Mureș (UMPh TM), Romania.

Material and methods: Smoking habits and attitudes toward smoking among 414 pharmacy students attending UMPh TM (86% female) were evaluated using a self-completed questionnaire.

Results: The rate of smoking increases during the time students attend the university (24.1% to 33.3% from 1st to 5th year) and males are significantly are more likely to smoke than females (41.4% vs. 27.3%, p=0.042). 36.9% of the smoking pharmacy students are tobacco-dependent, and 40.4% of smokers started daily smoking at the age of 16-19. We found significant differences between smoker and non-smoker pharmacy students regarding their attitudes toward smoking and tobacco control policies, with non-smokers being more supportive of smoke-free policies.

Conclusions: Prevention programs and education have a very important role in decreasing the percentage of smokers and support for smokefree policies, but it is critical to begin such programs early in their university training.

 

Keywords: 
smoking, pharmacy students, cessation, tobacco consumption, smoke free university  

The most common form of risk behavior among young adults is smoking 2 . Teenagers and young students are especially vulnerable and represent a good target population for smoking prevention (3) . Pharmacists are well-positioned to provide tobacco prevention and cessation services and their involvement is encouraged by several organizations, including several Pharmacists Associations and the WHO (1) . A previous study performed of UMPh TM dental students (2005) indicates that university years are a crucial period in the initiation or abandonment of smoking behavior (2) .

References: 
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  2. Székely M, Fazakas Z: Survey of smoking behavior of dental faculty students, First Symposium of the Central Eastern European Behavioural Medicine Network, Targu-Mures, 14-16 october, 2005, p. 44
  3. Nădășan V, Chirvăsuţă R, Ábrám Z, Mihăicuţă S. Types of Interventions for Smoking Prevention and Cessation in Children and Adolescents. Pneumologia 2015, 64(3): 58-62
  4. I. Irimie, Sorina, Global Adult Tobacco Survey - Romania 2011, Cluj-Napoca, Ed. Eikon, 2012, ISBN 978-973-757-571-5. http://www.who.int/tobacco/surveillance/survey/gats/gats_romania_report_...
  5. Warren CW, Sinha DN, Lee J, Lea V, Jones N. Tobacco Use and Cessation Counseling Among Pharmacy Students. J Behav Health. 2013;2(1):8–18 
  6. Benedek C, Kovács M, Molnar C, Mucenic S, Fazakas Z, Székely M. Prevalence of smoking among students, Days of the University of Medicine and Pharmacy of Târgu Mures, 10-12 December 2009. Rev. Med. Farm. Tg. Mureș, 2009, 55 (6):235, ISSN: 1221-2229

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