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Jornal Brasileiro de Pneumologia

Print version ISSN 1806-3713On-line version ISSN 1806-3756

Abstract

MARTINS, Stella Regina et al. Effective tobacco control measures: agreement among medical students. J. bras. pneumol. [online]. 2017, vol.43, n.3, pp.202-207. ISSN 1806-3713.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/s1806-37562015000000316.

Objective:

To determine the level of agreement with effective tobacco control measures recommended by the World Health Organization and to assess the attitudes toward, knowledge of, and beliefs regarding smoking among third-year medical students at University of São Paulo School of Medicine, located in the city of São Paulo, Brazil.

Methods:

Between 2008 and 2012, all third-year medical students were invited to complete a self-administered questionnaire based on the Global Health Professionals Student Survey and its additional modules.

Results:

The study sample comprised 556 students. The level of agreement with the World Health Organization recommendations was high, except for the components “received smoking cessation training” and “raising taxes is effective to reduce the prevalence of smoking”. Most of the students reported that they agree with banning tobacco product sales to minors (95%), believe that physicians are role models to their patients (84%), and believe that they should advise their patients to quit cigarette smoking (96%) and using other tobacco products (94%). Regarding smoking cessation methods, most of the students were found to know more about nicotine replacement therapy than about non-nicotine therapies (93% vs. 53%). Only 37% of the respondents were aware of the importance of educational antismoking materials, and only 31% reported that they believe in the effectiveness of encouraging their patients, during medical visits. In our sample, the prevalence of current cigarette smoking was 5.23%; however, 43.82% of the respondents reported having experimented with water-pipe tobacco smoking.

Conclusions:

Our results revealed the need to emphasize to third-year medical students the importance of raising the prices of and taxes on tobacco products. We also need to make students aware of the dangers of experimenting with tobacco products other than cigarettes, particularly water-pipe tobacco smoking.

Keywords : Tobacco products; Health policy; Education, medical, undergraduate; Health knowledge, attitudes, practice.

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