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The 13th World Conference on Tobacco OR Health

Building capacity for a tobacco-free world

July 12-15, 2006, Washington, DC, USA

Thursday, July 13, 2006 - 12:00 PM

Smoking Prevalence and Attitude Towards Smoking among Health Professional Students at the Belgrade University

Djordje Z. Stojiljkovic, M.D., cheaf of group for the programs; department for health policy and planing, Ministry of health, Nemanjina 22/26; 11000 Beograd; Serbia and Montenegro, Beograd, Serbia and Montenegro

Objective: We wanted to examine the prevalence of smoking and attitude toward smoking as well as level of the knowledge among the medical, dental and pharmaceutical students of the Belgrade University.

Methods: Study was a part of the pilot study on Global Health Professional Survey, supported by Canadian Public Health Association, CDC in Atlanta, and WHO. Among the 3rd year medical, dental and pharmaceutical students (No. 196, 136, and 116, respectively) a self-administered questionnaire was applied. Response rate was 90.8%, 84.2%, and 65.6%, respectively.

Results: Prevalence of current smokers was highest among the dental students (42.5%), followed by pharmaceutical (20.4%) and medical students (18.1%). A will to stop smoking was expressed by 78.9% of medical, 75.6% of dental and 52.9% of pharmaceutical students. During the past year more than a half of dental students smoked in school buildings (55.4%), compared to 42.3% of pharmaceutical and 38.7% of medical students. A low proportion of students thought that school had ban on smoking in school buildings and clinics (medical 15.3%, dental 21.5% and pharmaceutical 10.0%). Among medical students 94.1% reported that they were taught about the risks of smoking, followed by 69.4% of dental and 63.8% of pharmaceutical students, while only 32.6%, 20.7% and 9.5%, respectively had ever received formal training in smoking cessation. Conclusion: The results indicate high level of smoking among students and the desire to quit among smokers. Although they are aware of the harmful effects of smoking, they do not have enough formal training, which is particularly evident among pharmaceutical students.

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