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Title: Tobacco use among medical students in Orissa
Authors: Ramakrishna, G
Sarma, PS
Thankappan, KR
Keywords: Public Health
Issue Date: 2005
Publisher: The National Medical Journal of India
Citation: Natl Med J India. 18;6;285-9.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Tobacco use is the most important cause of preventable morbidity, disability and premature mortality. There is a lack of adequate and reliable data on tobacco use among medical students and their perceived role as future doctors in tobacco control. We aimed to find out factors associated with tobacco use among medical students and their perceived role in tobacco control as future doctors. METHODS: A cross-sectional study was conducted among 1189 undergraduate medical students (68.5% men, median age: 21 years, age range: 17-27 years) in all 3 medical colleges of Orissa. Information on tobacco use, associated factors and their perceived role in tobacco control as future doctors was collected using a pre-tested anonymous questionnaire. Bivariate and multivariate analyses were done among the men respondents to find out associations between current tobacco use and predictor variables.RESULTS: The prevalence of current tobacco use was 8.7% (95% CI: 7.1-10.3); men: 12.4%, women: 0.8%. Among 286 ever users, 34% started using tobacco after joining medical college. Students with a higher personal monthly expenditure and with a family history of tobacco use were more likely to be current users. Third-year students were 3.2-times more likely to be currenttobacco users (OR: 3.21; CI: 1.43-7.19) compared to first-year students. Students who reported own tobacco use as not very harmful were 4.7-times more likely to be current users compared with those who reported otherwise (OR: 4.7; CI: 2.64-8.37). Compared to non-users, current tobacco users were less likely (p = 0.026) to assess tobacco use in their patients and were less likely (p = 0.012) to advise patients against tobacco use.CONCLUSION: Steps should be initiated early in medical colleges to prevent tobacco use, particularly among men students and those with a family history of tobacco use.
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