Comparing Tobacco Use Knowledge, Attitudes and Practices between Engineering Students at a Public and Islamic Azad University in Shiraz, Iran 2011

Mehrdad Askarian, Farideh Kouchak, Moussa Youssef, Laura M. Romito


Background: To compare the level of knowledge, the attitudes, and practices with regards to tobacco use between Iranian students at a public (PBU) and Islamic Azad (IAU) university.

Methods: A cross‑sectional design was used in this study. As the number of students at the IAU were three times greater than that of the PBU, we selected 150 students from the PBU and 450 students from the IAU using simple random sampling. A 57‑item survey instrument was utilized for this study. The collected data were recorded by SPSS version 15 software and then it underwent statistical analysis using descriptive statistics and ANOVA to compare the difference between means of knowledge, attitude and practice scores. Logistic regression analysis was conducted to identify variables that have an independent association with students smoking and to describe possible variations in these relationships. The P value level for statistical significance was set at 0.05.

Results: From participants, 46.8% were females, 10% of 327 students reported being daily smokers; of these, 84% were from the IAU. Totally, among the 107 smokers, 61 (57%) and 29 (27.1%) were water pipe and cigarettes smokers, respectively. Ninety‑three IAU students (21.7%) and 30 PBU students (20.7%) reported smoking during the past 30 days. The mean of the knowledge items between the students of IAU was lower than PBU students. Female gender, smoking in the home, and allowing visitors to smoke in the home were significant predictors of smoking in the past 30 days in PBU, respectively. In IAU, female gender, smoking by friends, and health status were predictors for smoking in the past 30 days.

Conclusions: Future studies should assess the factors affecting smoking initiation, as well as effective techniques for the prevention of smoking initiation and substance abuse in Iranian adolescents and young adults.

Keywords: Engineering students, smoking, tobacco use, university

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