Original Article

The Smoking Status and Attitudes of Medical School Students in a University of Nicosia


  • Ozen Asut
  • Songul Vaizoglu
  • Gulifeiya Abuduxike
  • Sanda Cali

Received Date: 04.11.2019 Accepted Date: 30.01.2020 Cyprus J Med Sci 2021;6(4):311-319


The smoking prevalences of physicians and medical students continue to preserve their high levels around the world. This study is the 2018 survey of a broader intervention started in 2017, aiming to monitor the smoking status of medical students in a multinational university of Northern Cyprus.


The universe of this cross-sectional study was all of the 1,461 medical students registered at the medical school for the academic year 2018-2019. The data were collected by a self-administered questionnaire applied under direct observation. Of the students, 1,304 responded to the questionnaire with a response rate of 89.3%. The data were analyzed by Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) version 18.0 (IBM SPSS Corp.; Armonk, NY, USA), with P < .01 evaluated as significant.


The participants were from 31 counties, the majority being citizens of the European-Central Asian country group. The overall smoking frequency was 33.7%, with 42.1% for males and 26.1% for females. While 26.8% consumed tobacco products other than cigarettes, 50.8% of smokers had starting smoking after registered to medical school. Sub-Saharan African country citizens smoked least by 6.0%, and the European-Central Asian group smoked most by 35.7%. Nonsmokers displayed significantly more positive attitudes for tobacco regulations and doctors being role models, compared to smokers.


The results of this survey revealed a high tobacco use frequency in spite of a medical curriculum including a specific tobacco program. Stronger educational and other behavioral interventions are needed to alter the smoking behaviors of medical students, and thus, medical education should be modified accordingly.

Keywords: Smoking, tobacco use frequency, attitudes, medical students, Northern Cyprus