Active cigarette smoking is the major cause of lung cancer and an important established cause of cardiovascular disease mortality. Risks have been shown to increase with even light or intermittent active smoking.
To assess the prevalence of smoking, age of initiation and the knowledge and attitude towards smoking among dental college students of Rajasthan, India.
A cross-sectional study was conducted among 1,383 undergraduate and postgraduate dental college students of Rajasthan using self-administered closed-ended questionnaires consisting of 14 questions divided into four sections. A chi-square test was used to determine the association between dependent and independent variables.
Of all the participants, 777 (56.2%) were male and 606 (43.8%) were female. Among these 258 (33.2%) males and 51 (8.4%) females had tried or experimented smoking. Majority of males (24.7%) initiated this habit at a very young age, before 16 years. About 79.5% males and 72.3% females felt that it was difficult to quit smoking. According to 88.1% females and 48.7% males, people feel less comfortable at public places or social gatherings.
The study has shown that the smoking prevalence among dental college students is high and has managed to contribute additional information regarding their attitude towards smoking. Comprehensive tobacco education and smoking cessation programmes should be aggressively promoted in dental settings.