Cognitive dissonance towards the smoking habit among nursing and physiotherapy students at the University of Balearic Islands in Spain.Int Nurs Rev. 2009 Mar; 56(1):95-101.IN
To estimate the prevalence of tobacco smoking among physiotherapy and nursing students at the University of the Balearic Islands in Spain and to describe their perceptions, attitude and behaviour towards smoking and towards the Spanish Smoking Prevention Act.
Active smoking is the first avoidable cause of death in the world while passive smoking is the third. The tobacco epidemic kills 5.4 million people a year from lung cancer, heart disease and other related illnesses. In Europe, around one-third of the Community population are smokers, with about 650,000 smoking-related deaths per year in the Community. In Spain, 56,000 people a year are estimated to die from tobacco-related illnesses.
An observational, cross-sectional, descriptive study, with a sample of 345 out of 645 students (53.5% participation rate) who completed an anonymous, self-administered, standardized survey devised by the World Health Organization.
The study revealed a 26.1% prevalence of tobacco smoking (26.9% among women and 22.6% among men), which is similar to percentages of students at other Spanish universities. Smokers and non-smokers reported many differences in attitude and behaviour, some of which have potential repercussions in their career, such as in estimating the harmful effects of tobacco smoke or the status of health professionals as role models in the society they serve.
The results of this study will contribute to develop an anti-smoking programme at the university and to establish smoking-prevention campaigns.