Passive Smoking and Attitudes towards Tobacco Control Programs among Iranian Dental Students

  • Keshavarz, Hooman (Department of Community Oral Health, School of Dentistry, Tehran University of Medical Sciences) ;
  • Jafari, Ahmad (Department of Community Oral Health, School of Dentistry, Tehran University of Medical Sciences) ;
  • Khami, Mohammad Reza (Department of Community Oral Health, School of Dentistry, Tehran University of Medical Sciences) ;
  • Virtanen, Jorma Ilmari (Department of Community Dentistry, University of Oulu)
  • Published : 2013.06.30


Background: Conclusive evidence exists about associations between several life-threatening diseases and passive smoking. The objective of our study was to investigate the prevalence of passive smoking among Iranian dental students, to assess their attitudes towards tobacco control programs, and to explore the association between these two and tobacco use. Methods: In eight randomly selected dental schools, all fourth-year students were surveyed by means of a self-administered anonymous questionnaire in December 2010. The Global Health Professions Student Survey (GHPSS) questionnaire served as the data collection instrument. Exposure to environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) was assessed during the previous week. Chi-square test, logistic regression, and linear regression served for statistical analyses. Results: The response rate was 84% (325 students, 66% female). Exposure to ETS was reported by 74% of the participants. Men were significantly more exposed to ETS at home, and in other places than were women. Most of the students agreed on queried tobacco control policies. The lowest agreement (72%) was for banning smoking in coffee shops and teahouses. A logistic regression model showed that adjusted for gender, passive smoking at home is significantly associated with current tobacco use. A linear regression model suggested that the total score of attitudes is significantly associated with passive smoking at home, passive smoking in other places, tobacco use experience, and current tobacco use. Conclusions: The study reports high exposure to ETS among dental students, and its association with current tobacco use and attitudes towards tobacco control.


Supported by : Tehran University of Medical Sciences and Health Services


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