American Journal of Infectious Diseases

The Trend of Smoking Behavior and its Relation to Health Knowledge among Medical and Literature Colleges

Wijdan Akram, Selwa Elias Yacoub, Ali Abed Ali Al Saedi and Yousif Abdul Raheem

DOI : 10.3844/ajidsp.2011.45.50

American Journal of Infectious Diseases

Volume 7, Issue 2

Pages 45-50


Problem statement: Smoking is a major public health problem all around the world, especially in developing countries when smoking behavior among college students is a major concern to the society. Object of this study to estimate the prevalence of smoking among university students of medical and literature colleges and to assess the students’ knowledge about the health effects of smoking and attitudes towards public action against smoking. Design: cross sectional study. Setting: Al-Kindy Medical College, Baghdad Medical College and Baghdad literature collage/University of Baghdad for the period from first of March till 1st of April 2010. Approach: A random sample of 252 students of 1st and 2nd stages at the above colleges, 124 Literature students and 128 students in two Medical colleges, had been selected and subjected to the modified Arabic version of the World Health Organization (WHO), standard questionnaire for young people, to study their knowledge, attitudes and practices of smoking. All the information elicited from the questionnaire was collected and analyzed. The statistical differences between literature students and medical students were estimated. Results: The prevalence of current smoking was 58, 60% for cigarettes, 65, 56% for sheesha) for Medical and Literature students respectively. Friends were the main source of the first cigarette (69%), (62%) among students of the literature college and those of the medical college, respectively. followed by parents. Level of awareness of the injurious nature of smoking found to be very high among both medical 100% and literature students 94%, while (74%) of medical student and only (51.3%) of Literature student Agree with prevention of smoking advertising activity. Conclusion/Recommendations: Smoking still constitutes a major problem among Baghdad university students, in spite of high level of awareness to it’s hazards. This may call for an urgent action to be undertaken by health sectors in accordance with other governmental and nongovernmental sectors to apply new strategies aimed at smoking cessation in the community through implementation of an antismoking program for school and college students, adaptation of legislation aimed at restriction of this behavior, through forbidden smoking in general places, increase taxes, advertisement being directed toward exploring the unhealthy effects of smoking.


© 2011 Wijdan Akram, Selwa Elias Yacoub, Ali Abed Ali Al Saedi and Yousif Abdul Raheem. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.