OBJECTIVE: To evaluate trends in smoking habits among medical students in the last ten years. METHODS: In 1996, a cross-sectional survey of smoking habits was carried out among students in the first to the fifth year of medical school. Four hundred and nine students answered the questionnaire. A regular smoker was defined as someone who smokes one or more cigarettes a day at least for one month; former smokers were the ones who used to smoke in the past but not at the moment. Similar researchs were conducted in 1986 and 1991. RESULTS/CONCLUSIONS: Smoking prevalence was 11% compared with 14% in 1991 and 21% in 1986. Although there was a significant reduction of smoking in the last three years, the actual decrease from 1991 to 1996 was less than that observed from 1986 to 1991. In 1961, the prevalence of smoking increased in the last years of medical school. There were no significant differences regarding gender. Most of the students were in favor of not allowing smoking in both the school areas and hospital wards. They also mentioned in their questionnaire that smoking was poorly approached during medical school.
Smoking; Smoking; Students, medical; Prevalence; Knowledge; Interviews; Questionnaires; Tabacco use cessation; Sex distribution