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Journal of Preventive Medicine and Public Health 2004;37(3): 238-245.
Smoking Behaviors and Its Relationships with Other Health Behaviors among Medical Students.
Soon Woo Park, Jung Han Park, Sang Won Lee, Hyun Sul Lim, Jong Tae Lee, Yune Sik Kang
1Department of Preventive Medicine, Catholic University of Daegu School of Medicine, Korea. parksw@cu.ac.kr
2Department of Preventive Medicine, College of Medicine, Dongguk University, Korea.
3Department of Preventive Medicine, Inje University College of Medicine, Korea.
4Department of Preventive Medicine, School of Medicine, Gyeongsang National University, Korea.
ABSTRACT
OBJECTIVES: This study was conducted to examine the smoking behaviors and the relationship between smoking and other health behaviors among medical students. METHODS: A self-administrated questionnaire was administered to a sample of 1, 775 students from four medical schools between April and May 2003. Due to the small number of female smokers, the characteristics of smoking behaviors were analyzed only for males. RESULTS: A total of 1, 367 students (920 males and 447 females) completed the questionnaires, with an overall response rate of 77.7%. The smoking rates for males and females were 31.5, and 2.2%, respectively. Among the male smokers, 70.7% smoked daily, and 39.0% smoked one pack or more per day. Male students on medical course were more likely to smoke daily, and one pack or more per day, than those on premedical course. Male daily smokers desired to quit smoking less than occasional smokers, and 65.0% of male daily smokers were not ready to quit compared with 37.8% of the occasional smokers. Among the male daily smokers, 29.6% were severely nicotine dependent. The most common reason for not to quit smoking among male smokers was 'no alternative stress coping method' (44.4%), followed by 'lack of will power' (25.4%), and 'no need to quit' (19.4%). Compared with male non-smokers, male smokers were more likely to drink alcohol more often and in larger amounts, take coffee more often, eat breakfast less regularly, and be overweight or obese. CONCLUSIONS: The results of this study suggest that many male medical students were serious smokers, especially those on medical course. It is necessary to install a smoking prevention program for pre-medical students, provide effective smoking cessation methods for smokers, teach positive stress coping methods, and make the school environment suitable for coping with stress.
Key words: Smoking; Medical Student; Health behavior
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