Prevalence of smoking, awareness and evaluation of cessation methods amongst medical students Academic Article uri icon


  • This work describes and analyses the prevalence of smoking amongst medical students, their awareness of the methods of smoking cessation and the effectiveness they attribute to these methods and to medical advice. A questionnaire was distributed to students of medicine at the University of Navarra with open questions on the methods of smoking cessation of which they were aware, the effectiveness attributed to each of these and the effectiveness attributed to medical advice. Information was also gathered on: sex, year of study, smoking habit, average number of cigarettes smoked per day and the length of exposure to tobacco. Of 480 valid interviews, the prevalence of active smokers was 27.5% (CI 95%: 23.5-31.9); 4.2% ex-smokers and 68.3% who had never smoked. 42.7% named nicotine patches as a method of cessation and 25.2% nicotine chewing gum. With respect to the effectiveness attributed to each method, a median and interquartile range (IQR) of 20% (0-50) for the nicotine patches, 10% (0-40) for nicotine chewing gum and 20% (1-50) for medical advice. The more senior students and those that had been smoking for longer mentioned nicotine patches more frequently; more women than men knew about nicotine chewing gum. The senior students attributed greater effectiveness to nicotine patches. A future reduction is predicted in the number of active smokers in the medical sector. Amongst medical students the effectiveness of medical advice is overestimated. It is necessary to increase awareness of the methods for smoking cessation amongst medical students.

publication date

  • July 2009