Smoking prevalence and attitudes of medical students as potential role models in tobacco control in Istanbul, Türkiye

Bayramlar O. F., Karabey S., Koci M. B., Bozdag S., Ozturk H., Karakaya N. R., ...More

Journal of Substance Use, 2023 (SSCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.1080/14659891.2023.2254392
  • Journal Name: Journal of Substance Use
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus, ASSIA, CAB Abstracts, CINAHL, Educational research abstracts (ERA), Index Islamicus, Psycinfo
  • Keywords: curriculum, medical student, prevalence, Smoking, tobacco
  • Istanbul University Affiliated: Yes


Background: Medical students are potential role models for the community in tobacco control. Therefore, we aimed to determine the prevalence and dynamics of tobacco smoking among their grades. Methods: A questionnaire prepared in cooperation with the “World Health Organization” was completed online by 697 medical students in 2020 as a randomized cross-sectional study covering all medical school grades. Results: The prevalence of smoking among pre-grade 1 students was 3.3%, while it was 23% in grade-6. The highest prevalence was 31% in grade-2. Of the 135 current smokers, 43% smoked their first cigarette in medical school. “Having smoker best friends” was the most critical factor in starting smoking. Of current smokers, 59.3% want to quit. Only 20.7% of students who tried to quit smoking received professional help. Students took only a 1-hour lecture on tobacco control in the first two years. Conclusion: While there was almost no smoking in pre-grade 1, the high prevalence seen in grade-2 indicates that psychosocial support mechanisms and tobacco control lectures should be developed to prevent students. University administrations should implement adequate programs and increase awareness that will lead to a reduction in diseases in the student population and thus in the general population.