TURKIYE KLINIKLERI TIP BILIMLERI DERGISI, vol.29, no.3, pp.611-617, 2009 (SCI-Expanded)
Objective: This study was planned to clarify the extent of the smoking epidemic among young persons in Turkey. Material and Methods: The study included 3156 students from a university in the capital of Turkey. The questionnaire was prepared according to the criteria of the World Health Organization (WHO). It included items for sociodemographic features and the smoking status of students and their families, and the smoking behavior of the students. Results: The final population consisted of 3156 students. While the overall frequency of current smokers was 30.6%, the frequencies of nonsmokers, ever-smokers, occasional smokers, and ex-smokers were 36.8%, 23.2%, 4.8%, and 4.6% respectively. Current tobacco use was significantly higher among male students (p<0.001). The percentage of smokers with a family member who smoked was 73.2%. The percentage of students that had tried to cease smoking in the previous year was 68.4%. Conclusion: University students comprise a large group of young Turkish people. Because one third of university students are regular smokers, serious interventions are required to prevent young persons from starting to smoke, rather than encouraging them to stop smoking after the behavior has already become a habit.