Smoking is common among health professional students. The aim of this study was to assess the smoking habits of the pharmacy students attending the University of Medicine and Pharmacy in Târgu Mureș (UMPh TM), Romania.
Material and methods: Smoking habits and attitudes toward smoking among 414 pharmacy students attending UMPh TM (86% female) were evaluated using a self-completed questionnaire.
Results: The rate of smoking increases during the time students attend the university (24.1% to 33.3% from 1st to 5th year) and males are significantly are more likely to smoke than females (41.4% vs. 27.3%, p=0.042). 36.9% of the smoking pharmacy students are tobacco-dependent, and 40.4% of smokers started daily smoking at the age of 16-19. We found significant differences between smoker and non-smoker pharmacy students regarding their attitudes toward smoking and tobacco control policies, with non-smokers being more supportive of smoke-free policies.
Conclusions: Prevention programs and education have a very important role in decreasing the percentage of smokers and support for smokefree policies, but it is critical to begin such programs early in their university training.
The most common form of risk behavior among young adults is smoking 2 . Teenagers and young students are especially vulnerable and represent a good target population for smoking prevention (3) . Pharmacists are well-positioned to provide tobacco prevention and cessation services and their involvement is encouraged by several organizations, including several Pharmacists Associations and the WHO (1) . A previous study performed of UMPh TM dental students (2005) indicates that university years are a crucial period in the initiation or abandonment of smoking behavior (2) .
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