Smoking habits of final-year Galician medical students: 38 years of follow-up
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Department of Preventive Medicine and Public Health, University of Santiago de Compostela, Spain
CIBER of Epidemiology and Public Health, Madrid, Spain
Health Research Institute of Santiago de Compostela, Santiago de Compostela, Spain
Agustín Montes Martínez   

Department of Preventive Medicine and Public Health, University of Santiago de Compostela, Spain
Publication date: 2023-04-25
Tob. Prev. Cessation 2023;9(Supplement):A95
Tobacco consumption by health professionals influences their attitude on the smoking habits of their patients. Students in the final year of their medical degree will have to assume, a few months after graduation, professional duties such as smoker management. Therefore, it is important to assess their smoking habits and their attitudes towards tobacco.

Material and Methods:
From 1985 until 2022, we carried out a cross-sectional study every academic year about the smoking consumption of final-year medical students, as well as about their tobacco beliefs and attitudes. For gathering the information, a self-administered questionnaire was distributed to all students enrolled in the final course of Medicine at the University of Santiago de Compostela. To analyse the trends, we used a joinpoint regression that permits the identification of points of change in the series and estimates the Annual Percent Change (APC) of each period.

Daily smoker prevalence dramatically dropped from 1985 to 2022: from 61.1% to 8.8% among male, and from 53.8% to 8.6% among female. The male students’ regression has detected 1 join point in 1991 that splits the follow-up time in two periods (APC= -12.25% and -3.33% before and after respectively). Among female students the joinpoint appears later, in 1994 (APC= -8.55% and -4.11% respectively). Tobacco consumption among daily smokers declined during the period too: from 19.7 c/d to 7.4 c/d among male and from 16.1 c/d to 6.3 c/d among female. Among male students regression didn’t find any joinpoint, with a continuous APC (-1.98%). Among female one joinpoint was detected in 2009 with a deep drop in the last period (APC= - 1.43% and -4.46% before and after respectively).

A very important drop of the smoking prevalence among last year medical students occurred between 1985 and nowadays. The drop was similar in both sexes. The same trend happened with the number of cigarettes consumed per day.

The authors have no conflicts of interest to declare.