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Tobacco smoking among nursing students in Saudi Arabia: A descriptive correlational study

24 May 2017

Background and objectives: Tobacco smoking is a global epidemic and health threat that continues to increase. Nursing students primarily develop their professional roles toward smoking cessation during their academic nursing education.  We assessed prevalence and behavioral patterns of tobacco smoking among nursing students. Along with nature of education received on tobacco smoking cessation, we sought to explore their knowledge, attitudes and beliefs toward tobacco smoking.

Methods: Using convenience sampling, a descriptive correlational research design was used. Subjects were undergraduate students from a public university located in Alriyadh, the capital of Saudi Arabia. A standardized self-administered questionnaire, the Global Health Professional Student Survey, was utilized.

Results: Eighty-four percent reported not smoking tobacco throughout their lifetime (i.e., never smokers), while the remaining were former smokers. Although 11.7% indicated that they had received formal training on tobacco-smoking cessation, more former smokers reported receiving such formal training than never smokers (25% vs. 9.3%, χ2 = 4.04, df = 1, p = .04). Students who were in third year of program, who thought that a smoker who quits smoking tobacco products would avoid/decrease serious health problems, and who stated that tobacco smoking never been allowed inside their living homes while children were present were more likely be never smokers.

Conclusions: Adding training modules on smoking cessation to undergraduate nursing program curricula is highly suggested. Considering our unique findings on the effect of smoking status on the attitudes and beliefs toward smoking among nursing students when planning and implementing training modules seems beneficial. Future research is recommended to explore the lived experiences and consequences of smoking behavior among former smokers group.

Click here to view the full article which appeared in Journal of Nursing Education and Practice