Bilal Hassan Khan, Shafi Ullah, Khalid Hassan Khan, Umar Khitaab.
Pattern of cigarette smoking among college students of Mardan.
Pak J Med Res Jun ;54(3):74-7.

Background: Cigarette smoking habit is mostly acquired during college and later it becomes an addiction leading to high morbidity and premature death. Objectives: To determine the pattern of cigarette smoking among college students of Mardan and factors that encourages its use. Study type, settings and duration: Cross-sectional study, done in 2014 in seven colleges of Mardan over 3 months period. Subjects and Methods: All students were encouraged to participate and fill the questionnaire. The data on smoking pattern, contributing factors to the habit, peak time/ places of smoking, sources of hazards awareness, and number of cigarettes smoked per day, reasons for smoking, not smoking and quitting were collected through a pre-tested questionnaire. The data were entered in the computer and analyzed using means and percentages. Results: A total of 954 students returned the filled questionnaire. Their ages ranged between 17 and 24 years with male to female ratio of 5:1. Out of the total, 31.2% were smokers, 2.2% ex-smokers and 66.6% non-smokers. The habit was found more common in students whose fathers or brothers were smokers and many students acquired this habit for charm and relaxation. Most smokers consumed less than 10 cigarettes per day. No female student was a smoker or ex- smoker. Significantly less smoking (p < 0.05) was observed in one institute as compared to other six institutes because of strict discipline. Most of the smokers started smoking after entry in the college life. Smoking was more in boarding students, those whose mothers were working and those living in the urban areas. Non-smokers and ex-smokers avoided cigarettes either due to family pressure, religion or its adverse effects on health. Females had significantly (p < 0.05) more knowledge about tobacco hazards as compared to males and most students mentioned that doctors were their main source of awareness. Conclusion: Almost 31.2% students in various colleges of Mardan were smokers. Smoking was not seen in female students. Most boys (68%) started smoking when they entered the college (first year). Health awareness, family support, religious knowledge and strict discipline in the colleges were the main reasons to not to smoke or quit smoking.

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