SILPAKORN UNIVERSITY SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY JOURNAL, Vol 3, No 1 (2009)

Smoking Behavior and Smoking-Related Knowledge of Students at Silpakorn University, Thailand

Danita Phanucharas, Rapeepun Chalongsuk

Department of Community Pharmacy, Faculty of Pharmacy, Silpakorn University, Nakhon Pathom, Thailand

Department of Community Pharmacy, Faculty of Pharmacy, Silpakorn University, Nakhon Pathom, Thailand


Abstract


The aim of this study was to obtain information about smoking behavior and smoking-related knowledge of students at Silpakorn University, Sanamchan Palace Campus, located in Nakhon Pathom Province, Thailand. A cross sectional study was designed to collect data by self-administered, personal questionnaires in 137 students who smoked; information from 9 faculties was obtained from July 8th to August 4th, 2006. The questionnaire included items about daily consumption of cigarettes, income per month, age at which smoking began, previous attempts to quit smoking, smoking cessation techniques, campaigns against smoking, smoking-related knowledge and the reasons for smoking among the students sampled.

The study result was that of the 137 enrolled university students who smoked, 89.8% were men. Average daily consumption were 8.6 ±7.3 cigarettes and average income per month was 5,537.40 Baht. Mean age of initiation of smoking was 17.1 ±2.3 years. Nearly one third, 29.2% of smoking students had never tried to quit smoking while 13.9% stated they had tried to quit more than 3 times. The smoking cessation techniques included the cigarette buying method, no-smoke self-enforcement method and the exercise and water drinking/frequent bathing method. Some subjects used nicotine chewing gum or cessation medicine and limited party going or stayed away from other smokers. Few of them took counselings at smoking cessation clinics. Most students had seen campaigns against smoking on television, billboards, newspapers or magazines. Most students thought that cigarettes were addictive and could hurt one or cause bad health effects for smokers as well as passive smokers. Some students had never tried to quit smoking for various reasons such as smoking was not addictive, it was unnecessary to quit smoking, and smoking was a source of pleasure. The main given reasons for smoking in the samples were stress relief, gaining happiness, free time operation, habitation, and peer pressure. The reasons for smoking again after having stopped for a period were stress, relieving sadness or emotional problems, peer pressure, habitation, no strong intention or quit attempt, taste addiction and weight gain after cessation.

Students who have never tried to quit smoking should be aware of their chances to get disease/premature death from cigarettes. They also should be educated about the toxic chemicals in cigarettes which not only harm smokers but also passive smokers such as their parents, friends and families. Some misconceptions of students who never tried to quit smoking should be changed to stimulate them to begin the cessation process. Students who again smoked after having some cessation period should be provided some information on techniques to help them succeed in the future.

Key Words: Cigarette; Smoking; Smoking behavior; Smoking-related knowledge; Smoking students; Smoking cessation

Full Text: PDF