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Medical students of Kyrgyzstan: Smoking prevalence and attitudes to smoking cessation counseling

Authors:

Denis Vinnikov ,

Kyrgyz Asthma Centre, Togolok Moldo str., 3 Bishkek 720040, KG
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Aarne Lahdensuo,

Department of Pulmonary Diseases, Tampere University Hospital, Tampere, FI
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Nurlan Brimkulov

Kyrgyz Asthma Centre, Togolok Moldo str., 3 Bishkek 720040, KG
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Abstract

Study objective: To determine the current prevalence of smoking among medical students and to ascertain their readiness for counseling on smoking cessation.

Methods: Cross-sectional randomized study, in which 297 medical students (146 males and 151 females) completed a questionnaire and exhaled carbon monoxide (CO).

Setting: Kyrgyz State Medical Academy in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan.

Results: The overall prevalence of smoking among medical students was 35% (47.9% among men and 22.5% among women), with the highest rate among year 6 students (85.7% for men and 58% for women). The CO-adjusted prevalence for the entire sample was 44.8%. Overall 69% of students believed that smoking is related to cancer and chronic diseases however, the longer students were in school, the less confidence they demonstrated in this relationship. While 85.2% reported that advice should be given to smokers to stop, only 63% considered it potentially effective. Only 17.2% were aware of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, 90% of these supported its ratification, women significantly more so than men OR = 2.24, p < 0.05. Non-smokers expressed a greater demand for more information on smoking-related diseases and treatment of tobacco dependence (OR = 2.94, p < 0.05). Smokers were more likely to consume alcohol (OR = 4.0, p < 0.001) with no-alcohol students being more committed to tobacco control.

Conclusions: Across the years of study, the prevalence of smoking among medical students increased, and reached its peak at year 6. The lack of knowledge about tobacco control along with a decreased potential for anti-smoking advocacy likely reflect deficiencies in the educational curricula. There is an urgent need to address relevant changes in the educational curricula for medical students.

How to Cite: Vinnikov D, Lahdensuo A, Brimkulov N. Medical students of Kyrgyzstan: Smoking prevalence and attitudes to smoking cessation counseling. Global Heart. 2006;2(1):31–7. DOI: http://doi.org/10.1016/j.precon.2006.07.002
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Published on 01 Jan 2006.

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