To study the reported practices of knowledge about and attitude towards smoking among nursing and medical laboratory technology (MLT) students, College of Medicine, King Faisal University at Dammam and Al-Khobar.
College of Medicine, Dammam and King Fahd Hospital of the University, Al-Khobar, Saudi Arabia
A cross-sectional approach involving a sample of 266 students and interns (152 nursing and 114 MLT), which included all enrolled students in the academic year (1998/1999). A self-administered questionnaire was used to collect data covering knowledge, practice and attitude to smoking. SPSS was used for statistical analysis.
The overall smoking prevalence was low (5.6%), slightly higher among nursing (6.6%) versus MLT (4.4%) students. Knowledge of and attitude towards smoking was generally satisfactory in both groups, although deficient in some key areas, such as the addictive nature of smoking, some of its consequences on health, and difficulty of quitting.
Conclusion and Recommendations:
The prevalence of smoking among nursing and MLT students is generally low but their knowledge and attitude need improvement. Health education on facts, dangers and consequences of smoking should start as early as the primary school, and should continue throughout the education of future health professionals (role models for the community).