Prevalence of Smoking and Risk Factors Among Students at a University in Turkey
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Aim: The aim of this study was to investigate smoking prevalence and related risk factors among students at the Health School and Physical Education & Sports School of a university in central Turkey. Material and Method: A cross-sectional study was conducted on a total of 1082 students continuing their education at the school from October to December 2015. A multiple-item questionnaire was administered to students using the "answering-under-supervision" technique during lessons. Results: A total of 675 responders were female (62.4%) and 407 responders were male (37.6%) out of 1082 participants. Of the 1082 students, 256 (23.7%) were current smokers and the average age for starting smoking was 16.61 +/- 2.72. Most participants graduated from public (96.0%) school, while 4.0% graduated from private high schools. In this study, we found that the smoking prevalence was associated with some variables such as sex, classroom grade, age, place of residence, cigarette or tobacco use in the living place, and knowledge status of students about their teacher's smoking habits (p = 0.05). Discussion: Our study results revealed that smoking prevalence was high among the students. These results also indicate that health school and sports school students who will be role models for reduced smoking and healthy living behaviors in public should be trained to improve their knowledge and awareness about health risks of smoking. Providing education on the health risks of smoking to students who have not receive an education before can prevent smoking initiation and increase the quitting rate.