School of Public Health
Functional Neurosurgery Research Center
Chronic Respiratory Disease Research Center
Tobacco Prevention and Control Research Center (TPCRC), Shahid Beheshti University MC, TEHRAN-IRAN.
Background: Cigarette smoking is among the main preventable causes of untimely death, morbidity and mortality in the world. Various reasons have been suggested for cigarette smoking among students which are mostly related to the culture and customs of a country. This study aimed to evaluate the factors associated with cigarette smoking among students. Materials and Methods: This cross-sectional analytical study was conducted in Tehran in 2008 and used "Global Youth Tobacco Survey" (GYTS) self-administered questionnaire for data collection. A total of 4,523 students (2,251 girls and 2,272 boys) were selected by using randomized multi-stage cluster sampling. SPSS version 16 software, chi-square test and logistic regression test were used for data analysis. Results: A total of 4,523 students (50.2% boys and 49.8% girls) with a mean age of 14.69±2.09 yrs were evaluated. The prevalence of smoking experience, current smoking, and current regular smoking among students was 25.5%, 7.4%, and 1.9%, respectively. The score of knowledge was 5.29±1.29 for all students, 5.34±1.23 for nonsmoker students, and 4.57±1.74 for current smokers (p <0.01). The mean score of attitude towards smoking was 27.29±7.41 for all students, 27.56±7.20 for non smokers and 21.10±7.69 for current smokers. The difference between the scores of current smokers and nonsmokers was statistically significant (p <0.01). In evaluation of the correlation between cigarette smoking and different variables, several factors were found to increase the likelihood of smoking among students including the male gender, older age, low grades, having smoker friends, pocket money more than 300,000 Rials (~$30.00) per month, exposure to family members’ smoking, lack of parental advice, low scores for knowledge, low scores for attitude, passive smoking(exposure to secondhand smoke at home or outside),poor perception of anti-smoking messages broadcasting by the media, watching actors smoking (cigarette or hookah) in movies, and last but not least viewing smoking advertisements and cigarette commercials (OR=1.464-57.707). Conclusion: Considering our study findings, planning and implementation of educational tobacco control programs are required at schools aiming at preventing cigarette smoking by increasing the knowledge and correcting the attitude of students. (Tanaffos 2010; 9(2): 33-42)