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Table of Contents
Year : 2016  |  Volume : 12  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 26-30

Prevalence, environmental exposure towards tobacco use among health professions’ students

1 Clinical Instructor, College of Nursing, NIMHANS, Bangalore-29, India
2 Lecturer, College of Nursing, NIMHANS, Bangalore-29, India

Date of Web Publication17-Jun-2019

Correspondence Address:
K N Jayanthi
Lecturer, College of Nursing, NIMHANS, Bangalore-29
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2231-1505.260545

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Tobacco is the world’s major preventable killer. The world is in a state of tobacco epidemic, with larger population of tobacco users. According to WHO, tobacco is the second major cause of death in the world. It is currently responsible for the death of one in ten adults worldwide. It has been predictable that the death tolls will reach, to 10 million by 2020, out of which 70 per cent will occur in the developing countries. The health professionals take part in considerable roles in tobacco control, their attitude and practice toward tobacco use can influence the health of the society. The present study aimed to assess Prevalence and exposure to environmental tobacco use, among the Health professions’ students. A cross sectional survey conducted among nursing and pharmacy students. The study used questionnaire from Global Health professions’Students Survey (GHPSS) which was developed by the World Health Organization, US Center for Disease Control and the Canadian Public Health Association (2008).Descriptive research design was adapted for the present study. One Hundred and forty one subjects (Nursing (n=62) and Pharmacy (n=79) college students) were selected through purposive sampling method. The self administered questionnaire was distributed and data were collected for socio demographic characteristics and Prevalence of tobacco use and exposure to environmental tobacco use. The collected data were systematically coded, computed and analyzed using SPSS 21.0. Analyses of the data were done by authors in accordance with the specified objectives. Tobacco smoking prevalence among health professions’ students are relatively low; however, majority believed that health-care providers serve as role models for their patients and the public.

Keywords: Tobacco, prevalence, Environmental Exposure, Health professions’

How to cite this article:
Rajalakshmi R, Jayanthi K N. Prevalence, environmental exposure towards tobacco use among health professions’ students. Indian J Psy Nsg 2016;12:26-30

How to cite this URL:
Rajalakshmi R, Jayanthi K N. Prevalence, environmental exposure towards tobacco use among health professions’ students. Indian J Psy Nsg [serial online] 2016 [cited 2023 Apr 2];12:26-30. Available from: https://www.ijpn.in/text.asp?2016/12/1/26/260545

  Introduction Top

The World Health Organization (WHO) has predicted that five million deaths occur annually due to tobacco use and this number of deaths might expected to reach more than eight million by the year 2030[1],[2]. About 80% of this will be in developing countries[1]. However; the exact amounts of the problem of smoking in developing countries are not well defined. India is no exclusion to this global scenario owing to the expanding prevalence of tobacco usage in India. This increase in tobacco usage could be attributed to increased economic growth witnessed in India over the past few decades. It has been estimated that 26.2% and 3.6% of Indian males and females respectively are smokers (GATS India, 2010; Tobacco Atlas, 2012). Also there is growing concern over increasing exposure to secondhand smoke (GATS India, 2010; Tobacco Atlas, 2012)[20]. Smoking also has an environmental impact due to second hand (passive) smoking[3]. The impact of smoking is not restricted on the smokers, but it can stretch to affect the non-smokers as well. Smoking prevalence rises sharply during adulthood. This means that there is an induction of smoking even after high school[4]. A significant barrier for tobacco cessation and effective prevention is lack of knowledge on the ill effects of tobacco use. Lack of knowledge towards risks of smoking has been shown to be associated with smoking commencement among school and college students[5],[6]. Health professionals play a pivotal role in tobacco cessation and in motivating people not to initiate consumption. Several studies have shown that tobacco cessation advice provided by health professionals’ enhances the quit rate among their patients[7].

The prevalence, morbidity and the mortality associated with tobacco usage is on the rise[18],[19],[20], average age at which most of the people in the first tried smoking were [20].14±4.29 years and when they started smoking regularly was 22.30±4.88 years. This is higher than that reported by investigators in GATS India 2010[8].

Health Professions’ students are a group of society expected to have quite conscious approach to addictive substance use and the rate of current smoking (38.2%) among them higher than that in the general population[15]. There is substantiation that smoking cessation interventions are effective when conveyed by non-physician health professional groups like nurses9, dentists[10], dental hygienists[11], and pharmacists[12]; so, it is relevant to have information on their habits and attitudes towards smoking, especially concerning their role to give help to smokers who wish to quit. Health professional who continues to smoke sends inconsistent message to patients, whom he/she counsels, and they are in need to acquire knowledge about smoking related diseases and specific skills in smoking cessation techniques[13],[14]. Interestingly the current smokers prevalence is higher among many other Health Professions’ students than the Strictly Medical School students, thus more attention needs to be given to them in prevention and controlling tobacco smoking[15].HealthCare professional student population would be essential since their approach and credibility as future treatment providers may be influenced by their own smoking habits[16]. In a study carried out among health professions’ students 86.6%–99.8% believed health professionals should advise patients about smoking cessation however only 5.2%–36.6% among pharmacy students had received formal training in tobacco cessation counseling. Among these students 71.7% – 99.0% believed that health professionals should be trained in cessation techniques[17].Since students of healthcare profession are future professionals, knowing basic information about tobacco smoking among health professions’ student population would be important.

  Material & Methods Top

Study design adopted for the present study was descriptive design, cross sectional survey in approach. The researcher selected 3rd years students from one Pharmacy and one Nursing college based on convenience. The Global Health Professions Student Survey(GHPSS) was conducted by censes approach during regular class sessions, with preplanned intimation. The GHPSS is part of the Global Tobacco Surveillance System, which collects data through four surveys: the Global Youth Tobacco Survey, the Global School Personnel Survey, the Global Adult Tobacco Survey, and the GHPSS. The GHPSS is a school-based survey of 3rd year students pursuing advanced degrees in dentistry, medicine, pharmacy, and nursing.

The GHPSS (Global Health Professions Student Survey) uses a core questionnaire on demographics, prevalence of cigarette smoking and use of other tobacco products, exposure to secondhand smoke (SHS), desire to quit smoking, and training received to provide patient counseling on cessation techniques. All the subjects were selected for the present study as per the inclusion criteria. Hence for the present study, 141 study subjects (Nursing -n1=62 Pharmacy - n2=79) were selected. Data collection was done in the month of January 2014 by the investigator at each site followed the permission from concerned authorities. The students were briefed about the purpose of the research and were invited to participate in the survey. Assurance was given about anonymity and confidentiality. The data collected was systematically coded, computed and analyzed using descriptive statistics (frequency & percentage), SPSS 21.0 version. Analyses of the data were done in accordance with the study objectives.The investigators were obtained permission from selected colleges to conduct the research, also the protocol was reviewed by the institutional research committee members and written consent obtained from individual respondents.

As given in [Table 1] profile of the socio-demographic variables of subjects is that the majority 79 percent of the health professions’ students coming under the age group of 19 to 24 years, 75 percent of the students were females, 63 percent of the students were of Christian religion.
Table 1: Socio-demographic profile of Study subjects (n-141)

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Profile of Prevalence as given in [Table 2] that majority20(n1=4,n2=16) 14% subjects were ever smokers or tried smoking in the life ,17(n1-1,n2= 16)5% first tried their smoking in their age between 16-17 years,12 (n1=4,n2=11)11% of the study subjects are reported that they are currently using (during past 30 days) the tobacco by smoking, out of them 4% used all 30 days. Majority Seven (n1=2,n2=5)5% of the study subjects using smokeless tobacco products like chewing tobacco and snuff along with cigarette smoking.
Table 2: Prevalence of Tobacco use among Study Subjects (n-141)

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Profile of the subjects who had Environmental exposure of Tobacco as given in [Table 3] is that most (n1=6, n2=14)14% of them were exposed to the environmental tobacco in the living area.
Table 3: Frequency distribution of Environmental exposure of Tobacco Among Study Subjects (n-141)

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  Discussion Top

The present study revealed that most of the health professions’ students were young female adults, from Christian community. The prevalence among nursing students was relatively less than the pharmacy students. This could be because of majority of the students in nursing profession are females, more over the Indian females are not having the habit of smoking much in their culture. The study results congruent with the findings of World Health Organization 2009 & 2010 respectively for Pharmacy and Nursing[18],[21] Exposure to the environmental smoking or second hand smoking were less among our study subjects this could be because many of the students are staying in the hostel environment so less likely they are exposing to the smoking environment further our government of India implemented Tobacco Control Program[23]. This could be the other reason for Less Exposure to the environmental smoking or second hand smoking[23]. Among our study subjects14% of them were expressed that they have exposed to the environmental tobacco in the living area. Vanphanomsychareun et al 2014 found that only 7.3% of the respondents including nursing and pharmacy exposed to second hand smoke (SHS)[22]. The present study conducted with small sample size, thus the generalization of these findings were limited. Similar study could be replicated on large sample using prospective longitudinal studies. Comparative study may be conducted at various course levels.

  Conclusion Top

In the current study it was found that smoking prevalence and exposure to second hand smoking among health professions’ students is relatively low. However the Ministry of Public Health and Educational institutions should work together with other interested partners in developing, testing, and implementing successful cessation counseling training programs for health professions’ students since majority believed that health-care providers serve as role models for their patients and the public.

  References Top

World Health Organization (WHO) (2009). “WHO Report on the Global Tobacco Epidemic, 2009: Implementing smoke-free environments.” from http://www.who.int/tobacco/mpower/en/.  Back to cited text no. 1
Gajalakshmi V, Asma S, Warren CW (2004). Tobacco Survey Among Youth in South India. Asian Pacipic journal. Cancer Prevention . 5:273-278.  Back to cited text no. 2
El-Ansari W (2002). Passive smoking in children: Facts and public health implications. East Mediterr.Health Journal. 8(1):74-87.  Back to cited text no. 3
Torabi MR, Yang J, Li J (2002). Comparison of tobacco use knowledge, attitude and practice among college students in China and the United States. Health Promotion International. 17(3):247-253.  Back to cited text no. 4
Singh G, Sinha DN, Sarma PS, Thankappan KR. Prevalence and correlates of tobacco use among 10-12 year old school students in Patna District, Bihar, India. Indian Pediatric journal 2005;42:805-10. 24.  Back to cited text no. 5
Perry CL, Stigler MH, Arora M, Reddy KS. Preventing tobacco use among young people in India: Project MYTRI. American Journal of Public Health 2009;99:899-906.  Back to cited text no. 6
Gorin SS, Heck JE. Metaanalysis of the efficacy of tobacco counseling by health care providers. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prevention 2004;13:2012-22.  Back to cited text no. 7
Almas Binnal et.al .Insights into Smoking and its Cessation among Current Smokers in India .Asian Pacific Journal of Cancer Prevention, 14 (5), 2811-2818  Back to cited text no. 8
Rice VH, & Stead L. Nursing intervention and smoking cessation: Meta-analysis update. Heart Lung 2006; 35:147-63. DOI: 10.1016/j.hrtlng.2006.01.001 approach.  Back to cited text no. 9
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Binnie VI, McHugh S, Jenkins W, Borland W, & Macpherson LM. A randomized controlled trial of a smoking cessation intervention delivered by dental hygienists: A feasibility study. BMC Oral Health 2007; 7:5. DOI: 10.1186/1472-6831-7-5  Back to cited text no. 11
Sinclair HK, Bond CM, & Stead LF. Community pharmacy personnel interventions for smoking cessation. Cochrane Database SystemReview2004;(1):CD003698. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD003698  Back to cited text no. 12
Chatkin J, Chatkin G. Learning about smoking during medical school: are we still missing opportunities? International JournalofTuberculosis Lung Disease 2009;13:429-37.  Back to cited text no. 13
GTSS Collaborative Group. Tobacco use and cessation counselling: Global Health Professionals Survey Pilot Study, 10 countries, 2005. Tobacco Control 2006;15(Suppl. 2):ii31-4. DOI: 10.1136/tc.2006.015701  Back to cited text no. 14
MargheritaFerrante et .al. Prevalence of smoking habits, attitudes, knowledge and beliefs among Health Professional School students: a cross-sectional study. Ann Ist Super Sanità2013 | Vol. 49, No. 2: 143-149  Back to cited text no. 15
Patka AA, Hill K, Batra V, Vergare MJ, Leone FT: A Comparison of Smoking Habits among Medical and Nursing Students. CHEST 2003, 124(4):1415-1420. Retrieved [cited 2007 June].  Back to cited text no. 16
Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Tobacco use and cessation counseling Global health professionals survey pilot study. Morbidity And Mortality Weekly Report 2005, 54(20):505-509.  Back to cited text no. 17
World Health Organisation. WHO Report on the Global Tobacco Epidemic 2009: Implementing Smoke-free Environments. Geneva: WHO. (2009)  Back to cited text no. 18
World Health Organisation. Economics of tobacco toolkit: assessment of the economic costs of smoking. Geneva: WHO. (2011)  Back to cited text no. 19
Tobacco use. Global Adult Tobacco Survey: India Report 2009-2010. Ministry of Health and Family Welfare,Government of India. (2010)  Back to cited text no. 20
World Health Organization 2010.Tobacco Use, Exposure to Secondhand Smoke, and Cessation Counseling Among Health Professions Students: Sudan Data from the Global Health Professions Student Survey (GHPSS), 2007  Back to cited text no. 21
Vanphanom Sychareun V, Hansana V, Choummanivong M, et al. Cross-sectional survey: smoking among medical, pharmacy, dental and nursing students, University of Health Sciences, Lao PDR BMJ Open 2013;3:e003042. doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2013-003042.  Back to cited text no. 22
Kaur J, Jain D C. Tobacco Control Policies in India: Implementation and Challenges. Indian J Public Health 2011;55:220-7  Back to cited text no. 23


  [Table 1], [Table 2], [Table 3]


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