Introduction: Tobacco use is considered to be a chief preventable premature cause of death all
over the world. Tobacco use kill million of people worldwide, causes immense suffering and also
has economic and social cause, those effects that have been linked to global epidemic. Tobacco
control experts and Global Health Professional Survey on youth reports have emphasized the
importance of training medical students about tobacco smoking. This study examined cigarette
smoking among a sample of newly intake medical students of famous medical university in
Myanmar. The perception of students on smoking and preventive measure was discussed.
Objective: To study the perception of youth on smoking among first year medical students.
Method: A questionnaire-based, cross-sectional survey was done among first year medical
students of the University of Medicine-1, Yangon, during August 2007. Data were collected
using a pretested structured self-administered questionnaire. Questionnaire included sections
about socio-demographic information, knowledge, practice and their perception on smoking.
Result: The prevalence of current smoking among them was 5.8%. There was also statistical
significant association between perception and gender, perception and knowledge level and
perception and smoking habit. Majority of the students did not smoke since they were aware of
the health risk of smoking. Regarding perception of smoking and environmental peers like
present of smokers in environment, the students with no smokers in their environment have
positive perception than there was a smoker in their environment but it is not statistically significant. Regarding correlation between knowledge score on smoking and perception on
smoking, significant correlation between was found between knowledge score and attitude
towards susceptibility, seriousness, threat, benefit, barrier and control.
Regarding relation between perception on smoking and smoking habit, significant association
was found and the nonsmokers and smokers had positive attitude than current smokers.
Conclusion: In this study, their perceptions on tobacco smoking were related with practice of
smoking. Their perception would be change by health education methods using individual interview, group discussion and form anti-smoking campaign at University. The student's
perception upon legislative measure of smoking was still weak.
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Author(s): Kye Mon Min Swe Amit Bhardwaj
Medical students, smoking, perception, control