Smoking rates and associated factors among foreign students in Firat University
Sofia Ravara 3,4,5
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Firat University, Elazig, Turkey
Department of Public Health and Family Medicine, Firat University, Elazig, Turkey
Health Sciences Research Centre (CICS-UBI), Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Beira Interior, Covilha, Portugal
Interdisciplinary Centre of Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities, NOVA University, Lisbon, Portugal
CHUCB, University Hospital, Covilha, Portugal
Publication date: 2020-10-22
Tob. Prev. Cessation 2020;6(Supplement):A107
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Past research has shown that smoking rates may be high among university students. Therefore, it is important to evaluate smoking and associated factors in a university setting, to plan smoking prevention programmes and tobacco control policies.

We sought to evaluate smoking rates and associated factors among foreign university students at Firat University.

We conducted a cross-sectional study and data were gathered through a structured questionnaire applied in the classroom. A convenience-weighted sample among foreign students was obtained since it was not possible to access students’ data to plan a random sample. We performed a descriptive and inferential analysis using chi-squared tests and binary logistic regression.

Participants were 337 students, 17% females, with mean age 24 years. All students were originally from African and Middle East countries. The general smoking rate was 36.5%, 32.8% among females and 37.3% among males (p=0.55). Sub-Saharan African students reported the lowest smoking rates, in both sexes (p<0.05). Although women from Sub-Saharan African countries were less likely to smoke than men (12.5% versus 29.3%, respectively), differences were not statistically significant (p=0.094). Logistic regression showed that Muslim students (AOR=0.06; 95% CI: 0.03–0.12; p<0.001) and Sub-Saharan African students (AOR=0.11; 95% CI: 0.06–0.21; p<0.001) were less likely to smoke.

There is a need for implementing smoking prevention and tobacco control policies at Firat University. These programs should take into account cultural and religious smoking norms and beliefs.

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