Faculty of Public Health - Andalas University - OCS, 13th IEA SEA Meeting and ICPH - SDev

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Sujan Babu Marahatta

Last modified: 2018-08-15



Sujan B Marahatta1*, Durga Mishra1, Bipin Adhikari2, Anupama Bhusal1

1Manmohan Memorial Institute of Health Sciences, Kathmandu, Nepal

2Mahidol-Oxford Tropical Medicine Research Unit, Faculty of Tropical Medicine, Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand


Sujan Babu Marahatta, Department of Public Health Manmohan Memorial Institute of Health Sciences, Soalteemode Kathmandu, Nepal Email: sujanmarahatta@gmail.com


Smoking among health care personnel such as medical students is an important public health issue. Future health care provider's specifically medical students are seen as a role model in a society and therefore, controlling their smoking behavior bears a higher social value more than a mere public health concerns. Thus, the objective of this study was to access the prevalence of smoking and its contributing factors among medical students.


This was a descriptive cross-sectional study carried out among third and fourth year medical students within Kathmandu Valley. A pre-tested structured questionnaire was used for data collection. A total of 398 students were taken using the self-structured questionnaire. Socio-demographic factors, environmental factors, motivational and programmatic factors were assessed to identify relation of smoking behavior of medical students with these factors. Data analysis and interpretation was conducted using SPSS version 20.0.


The prevalence of smoking at least once among medical students was 32.5% and the current smoking was 22.8%. Among various factors, being male and having a family member and friends smoking was found associated with smoking. Availability of cigarettes (offered) and feeling comfortable to smoke at parties were found associated with smoking. Exposure to anti-smoking messages were not enough to inhibit current smoking behavior, however discussion about harms of smoking at family was found to be associated with lesser smoking.


The study revealed that the prevalence of current use of tobacco was 22.8%. To prevent current smoking behavior amongst medical students, consideration of socio-demographic factors is necessary. However, knowledge and exposure to anti-smoking messages alone were inadequate to prevent such behaviors. In order to effectively prevent such behaviors, apart from regulatory policies within the medical institutions, concerted efforts involving their parents, teachers and peer could become promising.

Key words: Cigarette smoking; contributing factors; medical students